“Caroline, Or Change” theatre trip!
Last Thursday a group of CTK English Literature students went to see Tony Kushner’s musical masterpiece ‘Caroline, Or Change’. It tells the story of Caroline, a black maid struggling to provide for her family on her wage of $30.
She has developed a hardened persona due to the adversities she has faced and this is reflected in the refrain that runs throughout the show ‘and I am mean, and I am tough, but $30 ain’t enough.’ Caroline works long hours in the basement tending to the needs of a wealthy Jewish household and, despite her hard exterior, the young boy in the family befriends her. Taking pity on Caroline, he leaves loose change in his pockets in the hope that she will take it to enable her to look after her family. This poses a dilemma for the protagonist, what is more important: her pride or feeding her children?
Our students were engrossed in the production and it really enabled them to see how to analyse plays in performance (which is a requirement of component 1 of their A Level). The motif of change running through the play was intriguing: the literal change left in the boy’s pockets and the rapid societal change that was happening in 1960s America, which was causing Caroline to feel left behind. Indeed, A Level English Literature student Funmi found the context fascinating, she said the musical: ‘gave [her] an insight into the lives of people of different races and how the death of John F. Kennedy affected people in America at the time’. Another student Natasha really focused on the staging and she said the director used ‘clever stage positioning to show the class differences between the characters.’
Nadirah commented that the show was ‘vibrant and highly enjoyable’ and whilst the subject matter was serious, there were also moments of humour. This was largely down to the magical realism of the piece; the singing washing machine in particular was an excellent vehicle for providing a commentary on Caroline’s life and internal thoughts. It was great to catch ‘Caroline, Or Change’ at the end of its West End run and we are already looking forward to our next theatre trip!
Trevor AQUINAS Course: A Level Business, ICT and English Language and Literature
“My tutors at CTK were fundamental in my academic success. They were always approachable and willing to go the extra mile. I enjoyed taking part in extracurricular activities, including leading the sixth form band and being Director of the Business Enterprise Group, Student Governor and Student Head of Hall. ”
Justin AQUINAS Course: A Levels English Literature, Maths and Physics
“I really enjoy having access to a wide range of extra curricular activities and the student support services. My teachers have helped me with my UCAS application and the management of my work - I plan to go on to the University of Bristol or the University of Bath. I would recommend CTK due to the large support system that is available to the students. ”
Jarius AQUINAS Course: A Level Psychology B, Sociology A, Geography
“I joined CTK Aquinas knowing that I wanted to study at a Russell Group university. I am currently studying a degree in BA Global Health and Social Medicine at King's College, London and I hope to proceed into doing a MSc Health & Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I would recommend CTK because the teachers are very supportive and will help you to reach your educational goals.”
Rose AQUINAS Course: A Level History A, A Level Politics A Level Sociology
“I'm going on to the University of Warwick to study Politics and International Studies. CTK was a great environment for me to learn. I've really enjoyed the teaching, all my teachers have been encouraging and supportive. They put in the extra time to help with workshops and revision to ensure we did well.”
Harrison AQUINAS Course: A Level Economics A, A Level Maths, A Level Further Maths
“What I enjoyed most about CTK was being able to meet other like-minded motivated people. CTK is a great environment to develop yourself, as you are surrounded by motivated peers and lectures who strive to get the most out of you. I achieved my grades and went on to study Maths at UCL.”