Clybourne Park: A preview

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Mari Otto

If you have never before read or seen Bruce Norris’s provocative and clever Pulitzer Prize winning play, Clybourne Park, it seems fair to suggest that you find a ticket to tonight’s show presented by the College Theatre at the Williams Center for the Arts.

The play presents its audience with a commentary on racism and real estate values throughout the years. In the first act of the play, the Youngers, a black family, buy a home from a couple grieving their son’s death. Wishing to leave their home and sour memories behind they turn a blind eye to the rancor of their middle-class, white neighbors. Many arguments ensue as the new residents attempt to mobilize themselves in their new and hostile neighborhood; Clybourne Park.

The real hook of the play is a racial role reversal. Fast forward to 2009 when a white couple attempts to purchase the Younger’s old home. The couple’s lawyer mentions her own relation to the time when the white couple had sold the house half a century ago. Since then,Clybourne Park has become a predominantly black neighborhood and has become gentrified from what it had been in 1959. The new purchase ignites quarreling once more, this time targeted at the white couple, using humor to draw our attentions to the uselessness of these conflicts.

“I think that what makes this show so special is the fact that everyone in the cast and crew were so dedicated to making a production that the campus would not only want to see, but would be proud of because it’s something that challenged them to think about social issues” Cast member, Chanel Allisa ‘17 said.

The production intends to prompt a campus-wide discussion on race, as well as to introduce to a classic and masterpiece of a script.

Clybourne Park’s run began Wednesday night, March 5 and will run until Saturday, March 8. Each show starts at 8 p.m. and lasts a total of two hours and 15 minutes.