The Augsburg College Theatre Arts Department will present it’s final MainStage production of the 2007-08 season, “Top Girls,” at 7 p.m. on April 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19, and 2 p.m. on April 13 and 20 in Tjornhom-Nelson Theater. Darcey Engen ’88 is directing the production.
“Top Girls,” by British playwright Caryl Churchill in 1982, explores
feminist themes and encourages a deeper look at socialist ideals. Marlene, “Top Girls” main character, is a businesswoman who has recently achieved a promotion within the employment agency where she works. Her sister, Joyce, is a working-class cleaning woman who
adopted Marlene’s child at birth and has raised her as her own. While the sisters are joined in caring for their daughter’s welfare, the two are quite different in their political and class views. Marlene is presented as an individualist who does whatever it takes to move ahead. She values power and success for herself at the expense of others. Her sister Joyce represents a more socialist-collective perspective that sees achievements of women happening only when all women and other oppressed groups are included.
Caryl Churchill explores themes of women’s success and survival through the context of the daughter Angie. While there might seem to be a wide chasm between success and survival, Churchill appears to look upon it as a continuum, albeit a fragile one. At any time, a circumstance or relationship can pave the way for progress or failure. In order to succeed, women negotiate time and relationships, compromise goals with motherhood, and depend on or exploit others. We see some of this in our contemporary culture and in our political
system as women gain equality with men. In “Top Girls,” Caryl Churchill asks how women negotiate in a male-dominated landscape and what they give up to participate.
Tickets for Mainstage Productions are $10 for the general public; $8 for ACTC faculty, staff, and students; and $2 for Augsburg students and children under age 12. For reservations or other information, call 612-330-1257.