When Governor Georgi Abashwili is removed from power, the sky over the town of Nuka turns red with fire as the peasants, far from the palace, begin to riot. Later in the play, when Grusha returns to Nuka to await her trial, the sky is still red—it has remained all these years a symbol of social unrest, chaos, and the common people’s desire for an end to corruption at any cost. In the world of epic theatre, theatrical devices such as projections were commonly used to communicate the themes and motifs of the play to the audience. The red sky is one of these devices, which signifies the play’s themes of chaos, corruption, and political turmoil.
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Red Sky appears in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1: The Noble Child
Act 4: The Story of the Judge
Act 5: The Chalk Circle