The incredibly successful Caryl Churchill is a prolific and daring playwright of the modern era, who approaches many issues and gives a voice to the oppressed through her work. Using a feminist style of theatre, she has written over twenty plays during her career, which has spanned nearly fifty years from 1958 to today. As a materialist feminist, Churchill writes plays which challenge the traditional patriarchal system and the associated prejudices imposed upon class/race/gender and sexual preferences. For her, these are constructed notions of patriarchy that have the potential to oppress women as well as men.
Born in London in 1938, Churchill's childhood was spent in both Canada and the UK. She studied English at Oxford University, while also writing her first play Downstairs in 1958. This went on to win an award at the Sunday Times National Union of Students Drama Festival. During the next ten years, she and her husband raised their three sons, and Churchill perfected her unique writing style. In 1972, Churchill began to receive recognition for her work with the BBC producing short radio plays of The Ants, Lovesick and Abortive, and televising The Judge's Wife.
Churchill went on to collaborate with the Joint Stock Theatre Company and Monstrous Regiment, and served as the resident dramatist at the royal court theatre company from 1974 to 1975, producing such famous plays as Cloud Nine (1979).
Caryl Churchill continues to write today, most recently publishing a new translation of Seneca's Thyestes, writing a new version of August Strindberg's A Dream Play (2005), and completing the play Drunk Enough To Say I Love You (2006).