Why do I love Caryl Churchill? Well, she’s brilliant. She’s crazy. She’s crazy-brilliant. I love her plays (The Skriker). I hate her plays (Cloud 9). And her plays confuse the heck out of me (The Skriker; Cloud 9). I’m intrigued by the plays I’ve only half-read (Top Girls — it’s not my fault! I only have an excerpt!) and I was so impressed (and confused) by The Skriker that I analyzed it for part of my master’s degree work. The bottom line is this; whatever my theatrical tastes, I recognize the genius in Churchill’s work. Her plays are striking, startling, funny and frightening. She performs linguistic gymnastics and crosses centuries in only years. Her characters are somehow otherworldly yet completely real. Which is probably why so much of her work so deeply disturbs me.
The plays of Caryl Churchill, for some, are an acquired taste. She does not shy away from the bizarre nor does she like to keep anything neat and clean. Pieces blend; people blend; time and identity blur in a way that comments more accurately on life than life itself. Maybe I’ll pick up a Churchill play and love it. Maybe I’ll hate it. Maybe I won’t know what the heck is going on even if I read it five times. But if I’m willing to read it five times, then I have to think it’s a play worth reading. And that, dramachicks, is quite a find.