Do you remember Lorraine Hansberry’s searing A Raisin in the Sun, the now classic 1959
play about racial integration and “white flight” in Chicago? Have attitudes and realities
really changed over the last sixty-plus years? How does an ethical person deal with the
political, economic and moral baggage of our shared American experience?
Bruce Norris helps us explore the dilemma in his prize-winning 2010 drama Clybourne
Park. The first act takes us back to the 1950s, where Hansberry’s characters (and some new
ones) find that middle-class suburbia may not be the American dream they hoped for. Fifty
years later, Clybourne Park is changing again, as young professionals begin to gentrify the
established African-American community. Clybourne Park was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer
Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.
Michael Whitehill, who brings his expected flair and innovative staging to the production,
directs Church Hill Theatre’s revival. With identity politics, the Black Lives Matter
movement, and other social issues dividing our country, Whitehill believes that while
Clybourne Park’s themes may sometimes be painful, the play is a powerful nudge to
reflection and constructive dialogue.
Intentionally linking the past and the now, Bruce Norris has the actors play different roles
in each act. The cast comprises Cynthia Bayne (Betsy/Lindsay), Simone Collins
(Francine/Lena), Anthony Daly (Kenneth), John Hodgson (Russ/Dan), Christine Kinlock
(Bev/Kathy), Gary Tucker (Albert/Kevin), Eddie Vance (Jim/Tom), and Frank Wirmusky
The production team includes Kathy Jones, Assistant Director; Steve Atkinson, Stage
Manager and photographer; Sylvia Maloney, Producer; Debra Ebersole, Costumes; Rachel
Gwin, Make-up and Hair; Doug Kaufmann, Light Design; and Tom Rhodes, Set Construction.
Clybourne Park opens on September 9 and runs through September 25, with performances
at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 pm on Sundays. Please note that the subject matter may be difficult for younger audience members. Reservations may be made on the CHT website:
http://www.churchhilltheatre.org or by phone at 410-556-6003.