Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cloud 9: Origins

The Possibilities of Change

From The Plays of Caryl Churchill by Amelia Howe Kritzer:

"Max Stafford-Clark originally recruited Churchill for a play about emigration to America that was to be produced cooperatively with Joseph Papp's Public Theater in New York. When funding for this project fell through, Churchill proposed the focus on sexual politics. To research the subject, Churchill and Stafford-Clark decided to begin with personal experience. Workshop participants were therefore selected on the dual basis of acting experience and sexual perspective; the resulting group included male and female representatives of various heterosexual and homosexual lifestyles...

"During the research period, in addition to hearing guest speakers and sharing books, each member of the workshop took a turn to tell her or his life story and answer questions about personal sexual experiences. Led by Max Stafford-Clark, the actors participated in improvizations based on social status and social norm-breaking."

Why the Victorian Era Act I

"As Churchill explained in a 1983 interview, two important themes which emerged from the workshop formed the background of these choices:

'We explored Genet's idea that colonial oppression and sexual oppression are similar. And we explored the feminity of the colonized person...Also people had talked in the workshop about their childhoods and what they had expected they would be like as grown-ups...Each person felt as if he or she had started from a Victorian perspective and had, in their lifetime, discovered the possibilities of change.'"

[From pages 111-113]

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