Cloud 9

Cloud 9by Caryl Churchill

Directed by Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson

  • November 7-9, 13-15, 2008
  • 8PM, except Sunday, November 9 at 2PM
  • The Studio Theatre, Public Affairs Center (PAC) Level 1, UIS Campus
  • Photo Gallery


Sunday, September 14, 7PM-10PM Monday, September 15, 7PM-10PM
The Studio Theatre, Public Affairs Center (PAC) Level 1, UIS Campus


Tuesday, September 16, 7PM-10PM The Studio Theatre, Public Affairs Center (PAC) Level 1, UIS Campus

Play Description

Cast: 4 men, 3 women: 7 total
(More women may be cast depending on role-doubling)

This play was described by the NY Times as “Intelligent, inventive and funny.” The play begins in 1880 in British Colonial Africa, and the following is a description coming from the Samuel French publishing catalogue: “Cloud 9 is a parody and spoof of the Victorian Empire and its rigid [and oppressive] attitudes especially towards sex. The cast includes Clive, a British functionary, his wife Betty played by a man, their daughter Victoria played by a rag doll, Clive’s friend Harry an explorer, Mrs. Saunders who runs about dressed in a riding habit, Clive’s son Edward who still plays with dolls and is played by a woman and Joshua a native servant who knows exactly what is really going on. What really is going on is … a non stop round robin of sexual liaisons. … The second act shifts to London in 1980 except for the … characters it is only twenty five years later and all those repressed sexual longings have evaporated along with the Empire.”

The Story

In CLOUD 9, playwright Caryl Churchill explores the politics of sexuality and sexual identity. Using cross-gender casting and role-doubling, she creates a satirical and stinging look at the relationships between sexual and Victorian oppression in 19th century Colonial Africa, and 20th century sexually-liberated London. Act I takes place in British Colonial Africa in 1880, where the characters are subjected to and attempt to secretly resist the constraints of the rigid Victorianism. Act II takes place in 1980 in London, although the characters have only aged 25 years, and they have thrown off the restraints of the sexual oppression of the 19th century Victorianism.