Blog: Tea & Conversation Questions

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Caryl Churchill

1. Caryl Churchill never explains her plays – she leaves it up to the audience. What did the play say to you? What did you take away from it?

2. Churchill is considered the greatest living dramatist. She changed playwriting forever with her innovative use of dialogue. What struck you about the language of the play or the structure of the dialogue? Do real people talk that way?

3. Do you know any other plays by Caryl Churchill? What do you remember about them?

4. Caryl Churchill has stated she is a Feminist and a Socialist. Does anything in the play speak to that?

Themes and Title

1. What do you think are some of the themes of the show?

2. In what ways is the show about connection? Human or otherwise?

3. Churchill is known for political themes in her writing. What do you think are the political themes in Escaped Alone? Why?

4. What is Churchill saying about climate change?

5. In a written copy of the script, Churchill quotes from the Book of Job, “I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” How do you think this pertains to the show and its title?

6. What is the meaning of the show’s title? What does it say to you?

The Characters

1. Did any of the characters resonate with you more than others? Why?

2. Each woman has persevered through personal catastrophe with the help of her friends. How have your friends helped you?

3. What did you learn about each of the women during the show? How does that change your opinion of them?

4. Do the women’s ages matter to the show? Why or why not?

5. Each woman has her own monologue in the play. Why?

6. Do you think the show would change if the characters were American?

7. What does this friendship mean to these women? What do your longtime friendships mean to you?

8. Why do the characters sing a song?

Mrs. Jarrett’s Speeches

1. Churchill paints vivid pictures through her language. What was the most graphic picture you remember from Mrs. Jarrett’s speeches? Why?

2. Did what Mrs. Jarrett say really happen? Why are her monologues in the past tense?

3. Why does Mrs. Jarrett close a curtain for her speeches? Protection? Separation? Something else entirely?

4. What is the purpose of Mrs. Jarrett’s speeches? How do you they make you feel?

5. How did having the two stages impact the story?

Your Reactions

1. How do you feel at the end of the show? Elated? Defeated? Anxious? Angry? Why?

2. What did you learn from the show? Anything? Everything?