Bruce Norris' Pulitzer Prize-winning black comedy arrives on Broadway.
What Is the Story of Clybourne Park?
At the heart of this Pulitzer Prize-winning play is a house. In act one, the house is being sold in 1959. Following a family tragedy, a white couple is selling their home in a suburban Chicago neighborhood, and their neighbors was dismayed to learn that the buyers are African-American. In act two the same house is again being sold. But now, in 2009, a white couple is purchasing the home from an African-American couple, and they butt heads over showing respect for a neighborhood that has become largely African-American. These two racially charged transactions tell the story of a home and a neighborhood, as well as the sense of history and entitlement people hang on to, even in the ever-shifting physical boundaries of the American cultural landscape.
What Is Clybourne Park Like?
An ensemble of seven versatile actors plays two sets of characters in this black comedy of manners. The tone and dialogue in Act One is very fifties, with a formality that matches the living room’s flowered wallpaper. The room looks quite different 50 years later, and the characters speak in snappy, overlapping bursts. Both halves of the two-hour play slyly take aim at racism and issues of distrust and miscommunication. While the subjects that Clybourne Park illuminates are heavy, the biting comedy of the show keeps it from feeling that way. It is the definition of an ensemble piece, and the cast keeps the pacing up in such a way that the action never falls flat. Clybourne Park is a fascinating, smart, funny exploration of changing attitudes.
Is Clybourne Park Good for Kids?
The play’s themes of racism and gentrification, its subtly dark humor and the characters’ use of foul language make Clybourne Park a play for older teenagers and only.