Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College Presents
CLOUD NINE by Caryl Churchill
Internationally acclaimed playwright Caryl Churchill’s masterpiece CLOUD NINE smashes through centuries’ old assumptions and oppressions with a biting wit and catastrophic sense of humor. The first act is set in 1870s British colonial Africa wherein we meet Clive and Betty’s dysfunctional family unit comprised of gender and race-disparate characters like their son Edward, played by a girl, and their black servant Joshua, played by a white man. The second act transports the audience 100 years to 1980 London, but the characters have only aged 25 years. The characters strive to break free of their traumatic past, and explore their sexual identities through everything from heterosexual adultery to bisexual incest.
Chair of Theatre, Karen Berthel, will direct this satirical farce with eight actors who play one character in the first act and another in the second. The second production of Kalamazoo College’s Theatre & Social Justice season, CLOUD NINE envelops sexual oppression, economics, motherhood, Queen Victoria, politics, colonialism, gender identity and the all-too-human quest for true identity. “Watch any political debate and you'll hear people talking about gay marriage, sex education, and countless other issues relating to gender and sexuality,” says Senior student dramaturg Marianne Stine, “Challenging assumptions about these things is more important than ever, and CLOUD NINE does just that.”
The set, designed by Jon Reeves, will reflect the complexity of the scenic demands of the script with simplicity, keeping in mind the metaphor of clouds and the feeling of sunlight coming through dusty windows.
All performances are in the Nelda K. Balch Playhouse on the Kalamazoo College campus, February 23-26, 2011. Thursday’s performance begins at 7:30pm (there will be a talk-back following Thursday’s performance), Friday and Saturday’s performances begin at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday. Thursday night is “pay what you want.” Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, adults are $15.00, seniors are $10.00, and students (with ID) are $5.00. The box office will open one hour prior to each performance to purchase tickets and it will be festival seating (first come). For more information visit www.kzoo.edu/theatre or call (269) 337-7333.
This play contains mature subject matter and language.