Friends of Restorative Justice

Tough Case – a restorative justice play

Tough Case by Canadian playwright David S Craig is a powerful, accessible resource for groups wishing to illuminate restorative justice “in the flesh.”

For a modest royalty to the playwright, the play is available through the Playwrights Guild of Canada. It can be presented as a traditional play, or simply as readers’ theater.

Tough Case centers on an elderly widow and a teenage boy who has broken into and vandalized her home. She’s traumatized, resentful, and fearful of the future. He’s about to be charged with a host of serious offences unless he participates in a court-ordered restorative-justice program. With the help of a skilled and relatable facilitator, all parties work through the process in compelling fashion. There is reckoning with the harms done, and a path to repair emerges; healing begins for all involved. The play has five, or seven, characters and runs about one hour.

The process for accessing and presenting the play is two-fold.

  1. Contact the Playwrights Guild of Canada. They will walk you through the process and send a sample of their simple, straightforward contract. You can email them at or call them at 416.703.0201. You can also inquire by post at Playwrights Guild of Canada/P.O. Box 60022/Queen Beverley PO/Toronto, Ontario M5V0C5.
  2. Get scripts for each player. You can purchase them from the Playwrights Guild or borrow them from FoRJ (contact us). We have scripts that may be borrowed and returned after your performance/s (but not altered or copied in any way without permission from the Guild). FoRJ can also put you in touch with one or more members who are deeply familiar with the production to provide assistance, facilitate discussions, or simply answer any exploratory questions before you contact the Guild.

Should you wish to explore the Playwrights Guild of Canada website, it is here: