DRM100Y1 Lecture 17: Churchill

Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Course Code
Noam Lior

of 4
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9
Drama: Form & Style
-Colonialism and Patriarchy
Colonialist ideologies: subaltern identity, economic slavery, etc.
-Imposition of values, laws, languages, culture
Patriarchy: rule of the eldest males
-Caryl Churchill
Prolific, jumping between modes
Consistent commitment to the examination of social and political realities
Theatrical experimentation: search for the right forms to express problems
Associated with Royal Court theatre; prominent, subsidized, not for profit theatre
-Not necessarily pursued commercial success
-Venues in which the questions she asks are welcomed
Overlapping dialogue
Desires of the oppressed, political, social and sexual
-Conflict originates from the resistance of desires
-Clearly a feminist author; a woman brining women’s experiences, lives, and
political/social/sexual desires to the stage
Feminism: advocacy for women, gender equality for women etc.
-Political advocacy moment and a critical theory
-A practice; praxis, i.e. an intentional action directed towards an end
Churchill a socialist feminist; cultural and economic roots of oppression
-Marxism concerned with systematic inequality between classes, Feminism
with inequality between people of different sexes and genders
-Both focus on un-teaching these so-called “norms”
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
-The personal is political; personal relationships and identity informed by
political ideologies, e.g. gender, perhaps
Difficult to change our minds, habits, practices..
-Cloud Nine
Produced by Old Stock
-Influenced by the real lives and experiences of actors
-Exploration of the sexual identities of the actors
Victorian roots of sexual attitudes and the post-Victorian changes
Sexual repression etc.
Effect of the casting choices
-V-Effects of whatever
-Joshua; cast in part because they did not have a black actor, but also serves to
make ‘black-ness’ strange; alienated
Patriarchy and Colonialism
-Uselessness of non-reproductive women
-Family structure and its applications onto colonialism
-Betty’s desire erupts, etc; Maud responds by putting Betty back in line
Maud, the stepmother, stands in for Clive and enforces internalized ideals
-Both systems of oppression
-Characters internalize what they are made to by systems of hierarchy
Gender as something performed, not possessed
-Joshua performs his gender, making use of control over, say, Betty, when he
does whatever to her, but is undercut when the young boy controls him
-Franz Fanon
Postcolonial theorist
Said the colonial subject is elevated above his status as an inferior to the
degree that he adopts the cultural standards of the colonizers
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Power and duty
-ISU: ideological state apparatus
Clive uses soft power, doesn’t force people into positions
ISUs operate to keep people in line
-Physical exercise of power (whipping the natives) hidden from view
-Act 2: things have changed
Up top, a young girl sings rather than Clive, the patriarch
A different play; people who seem more like we do
-Yet, the familiarity has been made strange, particularly by the chronological jump
Increased autonomy; permissive of different sexuality
-Speaking openly about things that were secret before
-But it’s not natural, it’s an effort; things have to be hidden still
Residual colonial attitude
-Lin’s brother, a soldier fighting in N. Ireland
Betty now played by a woman; now making herself, not made in man’s image
-Act 2 reveals the construction; sexually, economically liberated, autonomous
-Play is performing the changes that it’s talking about
-Key points on Cloud Nine and C. C.
Staging of desire: sexual and political, often both intertwined
Attention to the lives and experiences of women/the poor
Challenges context & form; comme the radical film!
Churchill offers…
-Incomplete fragmented stories; we are supposed to assemble the fragment to
make meaning
-Writing in collective processes; loss of the Aristotelian structure
-V-Effects; some devices in particular which never had occurred to Brecht
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com