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Carly Churchill Seminar

ENGL 271.950

Fulfills Distribution Requirement III: Arts and Letters

This course will focus exclusively on the dramatic works of English playwright, Caryl Churchill. Churchill has been a powerful theatrical voice for more than thirty years. Produced and studied internationally, her plays have been widely influential, admired for their political content and commitment, as well as for their stylistic experimentation and innovation. Often humorous but always serious, Churchill's writing reflects the cultural moments from which it emerges as it endeavors to effect social changes. Among the works we will read are: OWNERS, a relatively realistic, darkly comic critique of capitalism; CLOUD NINE, a cross-gendered exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality; and BLUE HEART, two ingeniously entertaining pieces in which language breaks down entirely. Over the course of five weeks we will read approximately ten plays, along with production histories and criticism of Churchill's work. The class will be conducted in a seminar format, with emphasis on preparation and participation. Requirements for the course will include short written assignments, oral presentations, and a final paper.