Posted inTheater Review

A universe of privation

No wings close the expanse of earth that widens the Court Theatre stage to a landscape in Caryl Churchill’s Fen, directed by Vanessa Stalling, with scenic design by Collette Pollard. The terraced land, hemmed in scalloped edges by shining metal borders, looks like the ocean, diminished and immobilized in its crash against the massive concrete […]

Posted inTheater Review

Riot grrrl witch hunt

The surrealist, sometimes anarchic style of British playwright Caryl Churchill’s prose invites a lot of directorial interpretation and creativity from the theater artists who’ve been drawn to her mesmerizing work for the better half of a century. And yet, I don’t think I’ve witnessed a more seamless marriage of her words and a thematic overlay […]

Posted inGhost Light

Farewell to Eclipse and Underscore

Covering theater in Chicago is sometimes about writing valedictions for companies that have decided it’s time to fold up the tent. In the past couple of weeks, two such announcements came through. Underscore Theatre announced in late September that they were closing permanently. (During the pandemic, the company gave up their storefront rental space at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Number

Spare in language and rich in ideas, Caryl Churchill’s 2002 one-act marks her continuing evolution from sprawling examinations of sexual and class politics like Top Girls and Cloud Nine to less overtly political but absolutely chilling portraits of the tangled impulses underlying relationships. Human cloning is the engine driving the play’s plot, but Churchill’s double- […]