Your Name: Cristine Alayon
Play Title: Top Girls
Play Author: Caryl Churchill
Today’s Date: January 24th, 2017
the beginning act of the play, it takes place at a white-clothed table in a high-end
restaurant. There is a table for six that awaits. In the Act 2, the setting
switches over to Marlene’s job which is an agency called “Top Girls.” During
this setting, a series of interviews is taking place for those interested in
the agency. The next location takes place during Act 2, scene 2, and it is in
Marlene’s sister’s, Joyce, backyard. This location is where the children, Angie
and Kit, are having their conversation about Angie wanting to travel to visit
Marlene. The third scene is back at the agency for more interviews to happen,
but now Angie is with Marlene in her office. The final setting of the whole
play, and I feel the most important setting, is at Joyce’s house where it is
revealed that Marlene is Angie’s real mother.
Year the Play was Written: 1982
Play’s Time Period (which is often
different from the year it was written): 1982
Number of Actors needed: Female:
Special Requirements: (could be
actor talents like singing, dancing, juggling; could be subject matter related
– like an actor needing to appear nude or engaging in difficult/controversial
behavior; could be design-oriented – like a waterfall, extremely quick costume change;
etc. A list is fine.)
requirement that I want to give recognition to is that the actresses had a lot
of lines. Being that this play was very long, I wanted to give props to them
for remembering all the lines. Another part of the text I took notice of was
that they cursed a lot during the play and I feel the reason for that was to
really emphasize their type of character and their points when speaking.
Synopsis: What is this play about?
Be concise, but as comprehensive as possible in 1-2 sentences.
aged selfish-like woman named Marlene cares only for herself and her success,
and throughout the script, she surrounds herself by other famously successful women.
Further on into the reading, it is found out that Marlene abandoned her
daughter, Angie, years ago to stay with her sister all because she felt having
a kid would hold her back from being her successful self.
Major Themes: List 3-5 major themes
here. For each theme, write 1-2 sentences about how it works in the show. Point
to specific evidence in the text AND cite it! **If you’re not sure what themes
are or how best to find them, see the explanation below.
1. A Women’s
Job: Marlene is a successful woman at her job and the theme here would be
independence for women during the 1980s with jobs. Men took over jobs back in
the day and it was rare to see women have a man’s job, which is what Marlene
had. Throughout, everyone constantly congratulates Marlene, Isabella said “Congratulations,
my dear” (Churchill, Act 1), and as Marlene enters the room “Win and Nell cheer
and whistle” (Churchill, Act 2).
The author used the way the characters spoke as a status and class indicator.
For example, the workers at “Top Girls” would speak elegantly as compared to
Joyce and Angie who spoke casually, to symbolize the lower class. Angie said at
one point “I’m going to kill my mother and you’re going to watch” (Churchill,
Act 2), the high-class ladies wouldn’t use this type of aggressive and vulgar
language as opposed to the lower class.
and Consequences: This theme comes frequently in the play because about
every other line there is a choice being made and the outcome comes with it. In
the text, Marlene and Joyce argue and then Marlene comes to realization that she
owes Joyce for taking care of her daughter. It was Marlene’s choice to leave
Angie, but she paid for it because she feels regret, she cries “I was afraid of
this. I only came because I thought you wanted …I just want … cries” (Churchill, Act 3).
Play Summary: Use specific details
(and citations, if quoting) from the text. 150-250 words.
play begins at a restaurant in London with the main character Marlene. Marlene
is a self-centered woman who only surrounds herself with other famously
successful people. At the dinner table five other women join her, such as a
pope and a writer. The women converse about their lives and use the word “I” a
lot, as if they only care for themselves.
play really starts to pick up in scene 2 where Joyce, Marlene’s sister, is
speaking with a young girl named Angie in her backyard. 16-year-old Angie
believes that Joyce is her mother, but Marlene is Angie’s real mother. Angie
proceeds to argue with Joyce saying that she wants to go visit her “Aunt” in
London. Long story short, Angie ends up in London to see Marlene. After Marlene
interviews an applicant, Marlene and Angie sit down to catch up on each other’s
Still thinking that Marlene is Angie’s
aunt, the play flashbacks to Marlene and Joyce arguing about little Angie. Then
it’s present day and they are still arguing, and Marlene said “You wanted it
Angie, you said you were glad, I remember the day, you said I’m glad you
never got rid of it, I’ll look after it, you said that down by the river. So
what are you saying, sunshine, you don’t want her?” (Churchill, Act 3). Joyce continues
to remind Marlene that she should be grateful that she took in Angie for her to
pursue her job and success.
Why this play now? How is this play
relevant to a contemporary audience? Be specific in your response! 75-100
In the play “Top Girls,” you can
still see how this 1982 play is still relevant to a contemporary audience. A
couple reasons for that is because the play sends messages. For example, the
female characters send a message to the audience and show that despite jobs
being for men, they can fight for their spot. Another lesson that can relate to
an audience now is when Marlene left her daughter Angie to her sister. Marlene
did this to focus on herself and be “successful,” but in the end she regretted
it and was put in place by her sister.