DC Theatre Scene: TOP GIRLS

A look back at the past that contains a look back at the distant past, Top Girls comes across as almost more of a recently-written period play than the 1982 piece that it is. That is a credit to playwright Caryl Churchill’s balanced eye, which captures the tone of the era in which she wrote it without succumbing to its excesses. It also speaks to the deliberate intelligence that illuminates the production under director Amber Paige McGinnis – every element, whether from the 1980s or the 1200s, says something about where women find themselves today.

Top Girls is not an easy play to stage, between the overlapping conversations, sudden shifts into new characters with every new scene, and wildly contrasting opinions on such matters as the proper way for a medieval woman to surrender her infant. McGinnis and her unflagging ensemble make cracking open the Pandora’s Box of Churchill’s masterwork look easy.

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