Center for Performing Arts to present ‘Cloud 9’ this weekend


Photo Credit: GSU

Nuha Abdessalam, Phoenix Staff Writer

Assistant Professor Patrick Santoro, GSU’s program coordinator of Theatre and Performance Studies, directs British playwright Caryl Churchill’s play Cloud 9 this Thursday, Nov. 3, until Sunday, Nov. 6. 

GSU’s Center for Performing Arts Theater, located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484 opens its doors to students, faculty/staff, and community members; tickets on selected dates can be found here. 

The play is witty yet filled with taboo-breaking moments set off by gender-bending and race-transcending characters who challenge the British Empire’s rigorous viewpoints on gender roles and sexuality.

“In Cloud 9, it is the first of many jarring juxtapositions that are intentionally designed to provoke our senses,” Santoro said, “We are not being lulled into theatrical illusion or visual complacency, but instead are drawn into a dramatic history that doesn’t align with textbook-taught politics.”

Santoro added: “As a director, I am drawn to scripts that are conceptually rich, those full of world-making possibilities both on and off the stage, and to stories that are timely.”

Cloud 9 is a world of such possibilities, conventionally making the societally unconventional achievable. “It is performative and political commentary, writ large,” Santoro said, “whether it’s saying something about Victorian ideals, its rigid perspectives on gender roles and sexuality, and/or its subsequent hypocrisy—it is always with purpose.”

Churchill’s play intended to frame our choices and our powerful, sometimes profound, impact on the pages of history.

Cloud 9 is written as a comedy, and it’s okay to laugh at our own human folly,” Santoro added. “It’s okay to be shocked by it. It’s often difficult to know where the line begins with comedy and ends in tragedy. And in Churchill’s hands, human history always measures out a bit of both.”