When Top Girls first debuted, it was a groundbreaking feminist play, winning an Obie Award in 1983. Thirty-seven years later, the play still resonates relevance as gender stereotypes and inequities have not vanished. Society still expects females to be selfless caretakers who sacrifice their own goals, desires, and ambitions for the greater good of others. The public square is filled with voices clamoring to regulate a women's personal choices about her body, motherhood, relationship, and vocation.
The play opens as Marlene, having just received a promotion, throws herself a celebratory dinner party. A cacophony of deceased female heroines come to wish her well, inevitably sharing their own stories of success and sacrifice. When Marlene returns to her reality in Acts 2 and 3, her coworkers, family, and acquaintances are all reminiscent of these dinner guests. Caryl Churchill's witty dialogue leaves the audience simultaneously laughing and gasping at the ridiculous horror of Marlene's reality.