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Caryl Churchill: The Leading Female Playwright Of Her Time

1767 words - 7 pages

Caryl Churchill is truly one of England’s most leading female and modern playwrights of her time. One German playwright, Von Mayenburg once stated in an article, ‘"With each play, she discovers new genres and forms. She then discards them and moves on, opening up possibilities for other playwrights to explore. I think many people writing today don't even realize they've been influenced by her. She has definitely changed the language of theatre. And very few playwrights do that.”’ (Ravenhill). Many agree with Von Mayenburg and this reason is because she has made it a point throughout her career to make the world question all the different range of roles, stereotypes and issues that are related to everything between from just ordinary people doing everyday-life activities to involving serious problems such as violence, political and sexual cruelty.
Throughout many of Caryl Churchill’s plays she presented a new type of language that will affect the writing style at the time. Her new writing technique has helped many actors connect with the characters in each one of her works. The use of Caryl Churchill’s new type of overlapping language helps the playwrights seem more realistic for the audience. For example, this ‘overlapping’ language is shown in Caryl Churchill’s playwright "Top Girls”. (Price). In this playwright, it shows that an actor can not only be aware of his or her line begins, but also the words of the previously spoken line for the response from another one of the actors in the conversation. The ‘overlapping language’ makes the conversation between characters more interesting and realistic; Having the characters bark lines back at each other makes the audience pay attention and makes the dialogue seem so real. Benedict, who wrote an article about Churchill, calls this ‘overlapping’ language “the starts and ends of sentences that are shorn off, leaving the important.”(Benedict). Caryl Churchill also used this overlapping language in her play “Blue Heart”.
In "The Plays of Caryl Churchill: Theatre of Empowerment" author Laura Doan states, “Caryl Churchill's work is notable for its open- endedness, for the peculiar relationship it establishes between the play and the play goer, and for what Kritzer terms a "theatre of process" that "invites participation through a gestic presentation of existing realities that demand questioning and reformulation".’ (Doan). Caryl Churchill likes to emphasize on her ability as a writer to portray a clear message. Caryl Churchill’s audience really connects with her plays because the audiences are strongly encouraged to have their ‘eyes on the course' and not ‘on the finish'. One particularly 'Caryl Churchillian' strategy in plotting is the combination of two completely different theatrical worlds. (Aston). By keeping the audience’s “eyes on the course” it gives them a chance to be drawn into the world of character. The audience is advised not to concentrate “on the finish” because when a...

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