ESCAPED ALONE and HERE WE GO by Caryl Churchill

From 09/06/2019 to 09/29/2019 at

Thursdays – Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 2PM

Audio Described Performance on Sept. 27

Synopsis

Frank Theatre is thrilled to present two new short plays by Caryl Churchill, whose work Frank has presented many times in the company’s 30-year history. ESCAPED ALONE and HERE WE GO deliver an evening of theatre by perhaps the greatest living playwright.

Churchill’s sizzling work ESCAPED ALONE presents a 55-minute elliptical view of the apocalypse, fantasy intricately wired with politics. Four women in their 70s gather for tea in an English garden, combining small talk and the horrors of modern life. Their gossipy everyday conversations lay bare their psychological troubles — from depression to fear of cats, from an “accidentally” dead husband to agoraphobia — punctuated starkly with surreal apocalyptic monologues. Which world is real? How are they connected?

“Line by line it’s hard to imagine you’ll come across a more brilliant play this year . . . and what makes Escaped Alone a great play is that it is strangely euphoric: spiked with terrible, apocalyptic foreboding, yes, but Churchill’s funniest since Serious Money, and with an incredible gift for spinning light out of the dark.”—Time Out London 

“It’s worth noting that simply writing a play featuring four women in their seventies without making it about their age is a reasonably subversive political act.” — The Atlantic

In the second piece, Churchill peers into the void with HERE WE GO, a poetic triptych of mortality. In the first scene, a group has gathered at a party after a funeral, remembering the man who has passed. In the second scene, a man observes the afterlife—Valhalla, Charon, and other mythical representations appear to him. But has he died? In the third wordless section, we see the intimate relationship between a frail man winding down his life with a caregiver.

“What Churchill has written is a striking memento mori for an age without faith; and although her play is brief, that in itself evokes the idea that we are here for a short time and then are suddenly gone.” — The Guardian on Here We Go

Caryl Churchill has written for the stage, television, and radio. A renowned and prolific playwright, her plays include Cloud Nine, Top Girls, Far Away, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?, Bliss, Love and Information, Mad Forest, and A Number. In 2002, she received the Obie Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2010, she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

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Ticket cost: 30 ($25 for students and seniors); Pay What You Can on Sept. 7

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The reviews are in.

“Together the two Churchill plays, surreal as they are, make for a powerful punch of an evening. And we’re reminded that Wendy Knox does not mess around.” — MinnPost

“These playlets evince a playwright still in her vigorous power, which is matched by Knox’s direction, Mike Wangen’s lighting and by Dan Dukich’s sonic scape.” — Star Tribune

“The savvy Knox and her probing actors have poetically rendered Churchill’s tribulational apprehension which I suspect may either mirror or refract the playwright’s own personal dark night of the soul.” — Lavender Magazine

Escaped Alone and Here We Go are in sure hands with director Wendy Knox and her collaborators, who bring these bracing plays to Gremlin Theatre in a matched pair of engaging and detailed stagings.” — City Pages

“…as always, the audience is in good hands with Frank’s excellent cast and design team to lead us through the weirdness to the truth of the piece.” — Cherry and Spoon

“Churchill does not make it easy for us to take heart. Yet, Wendy Knox and her terrific cast and creative team manage to inject hope into these two plays.” — Talkin’ Broadway

“It’s an intellectually and emotionally challenging evening, as any evening is under Wendy Knox’s spell.” — Southside Pride