Gender through time in 'Cloud 9'

A PLAY BY a British playwright known for exploring sexual politics and feminism is on tap at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Theatre.

Caryl Churchill's "Cloud 9" opens Wednesday at the Weber Fine Arts Building on the UNO campus and runs on selected days through March 5. The 1979 comedy was Churchill's first work to receive wide notice, winning an Obie Award in 1982 for best play of the year in New York. She started her career in 1958 and wrote radio and television dramas in the 1960s and '70s while raising her family.

A farce, the play looks at the effects of an imperialist mindset on intimate relationships, using cross-gender casting to teach and amuse. The first act takes place in Victorian times with the family of Clive, a colonial administrator in Africa, and it eventually zooms ahead to the late 20th century.

UNO theater officials say it was a coup for the school to secure the rights to the play. It has never before been performed in Nebraska.

The production will feature live musicians John Landrie and Meg Perry. UNO faculty member Ryan Hartigan is director, while Valerie St. Pierre Smith designed costumes.

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