In one house on two afternoons fifty years apart, two couples pack up to move. In 1959, a white couple are confronted by neighbours who don’t want them to sell their house to a black family. Fast forward to 2009 and the stakes are different, but the debate is strikingly familiar.
This deliciously uncomfortable social comedy reveals how far our ideas about race and gentrification have evolved – or have they?
Key photography by Earl Carter, production photography by Jeff Busby. Behind-the-scenes video by Josh Burns.
Playwrights Horizons, Inc., New York City produced the World Premiere of Clybourne Park Off-Broadway in 2010.
Barack Obama came to power almost two years ago and playwrights’ responses to that epoch-making event are just beginning to land on US stages. The various takes on the conundrum of race in American life have made fascinating reading, but for our money Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park beats them all for confidence, humour and scope. You don’t need to know the iconic fifties play that Norris uses as his starting point, Loraine Hansbury’s A Raisin in the Sun, any more than you need to know the original song on which a jazz man constructs his improvisations. This play makes great music in its own right. An ensemble piece like this, in the mode of August: Osage County, requires actors of unassuming gravitas. Peter Evans will direct three of Melbourne’s Finest, Alison Whyte, Greg Stone and Zahra Newman.
Artistic Director Simon Phillips