Analysis Of Caryl Churchill 's ' Seven Jewish Children ' Essay

Analysis Of Caryl Churchill 's ' Seven Jewish Children ' Essay

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Caryl Churchill’s play, Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza ,is a short, six-page response that revolves around the Israeli military strike on Gaza in 2008 and 2009. The play features no clear characters and is constructed primarily of seven spoken blocks of texts that can be performed in a plethora of ways. Each of the seven parts address or focus on a female Jewish child, spoken by a person or people protective and caring of the child. Although the play and its playwright have been labeled anti-semitic for the controversial topic and the seemingly one-sided viewpoint sympathizing with Gaza, the play’s lasting appeal lies with its emotional, instinctive, and immutable overall ramifications. Churchill’s script alone, as well as recorded performances, assert this emotional relationship, but in vastly different ways. Beyond the anti-semitic and provocative claims, the performances produced by the Guardian and Caryl Churchill, Warwick Student Drama, and ROOM Productions all accentuate the impassioned progression and instinctual sensitivities of wartime through distinct theatrical methods.
The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, worked in accordance with Caryl Churchill to produce a film of Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza in April 2009, to “allow a larger audience to see the play in performance” (Nathan 1). This production is very simplistic and relies heavily on the text. It solely stars Jennie Stoller, sitting in front of a black wall with only her shoulders and face visible. This position of the camera forces the audience to look at the actor, but it removes the theatrical element of the width and distance of a stage. Because of this, and like many recorded videos of productions, the film almost seems like a recorded tes...

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...he text. The Warwick Student Drama production also emphasized the caring and protective emotion in the text, but this time with added atmosphere, conversation, and a busier, more realistic overview. The ROOM Productions performance was immersive but shared the thematic traits of the others, focusing on communication, unending cycles of children facing violence. and the audience’s individual experience. All in all, beyond the political connections and reactions, Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza revolves around the instinctual and honest emotions of humanity, especially regarding children in wartime. Each performance pinpointed this theme, but the diverse use of theatrical elements differentiated each, just like all theater productions. Therefore, Churchill’s play, though short and multifaceted, was subject to various interpretations and, in turn, performances.

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