It’s not just about the characters; it’s also about their home.
Weathervane Playhouse presents ‘Clybourne Park,’ a dramatic comedy that follows the house purchased by the Younger family of ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ and the evolution of the house and neighborhood after the events of that play.
Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play and written by Bruce Norris, ‘Clybourne Park’ can be viewed as a kind of “sequel” to Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ which was performed at Weathervane Playhouse in February 2015 and chronicles a black family attempting to move in to an all-white neighborhood in the 1950’s.
However, ‘Clybourne Park’ quickly removes the fairytale possibilities of any happy ending we, as an audience, might have fashioned after last year’s production. Feelings run deep and prejudices are not far below the surface. The struggles of not only the family, but the house and neighborhood to which they moved remind the audience that America continues to struggle with the truths about race and gentrification.
In Act One, community leaders try to stop a black family from moving into a house in an all-white neighborhood. In Act Two, set 50 years later, we encounter the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification.
“I needed to complete the story and see what really went on behind closed doors regarding the African-American family who would be moving into this all white community. I had questions that needed to be answered,” said Keeya Chapman-Langford, who played Mamma in last year’s play and who assumes the roles of “Francine” in the first act set in the 1960’s and “Leena” in the second act which is modern day. “We are bringing to light a topic for discussion that has been around for quite some time and although we have progressed as a nation, it still exists today. The question, how do we put it to rest and is it possible for people to embrace and accept the differences of others without feeling because they are different it somehow makes them less than.”
Audience advisory: The play contains adult language and frank discussions of race and class. It is best enjoyed by audiences ages 13 and older.
‘Clybourne Park’ runs from January 14-31. Tickets are $22 for adults, $10 for children (please see advisory) (17 and younger) and $11 for college students. Senior discounts are available on Thursdays and for matiness for $20. Tickets can be purchased at weathervaneplayhouse.com or by calling the box office at 330-836-2626.
Cast and crew includes:
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Assistant Stage Manager
Jasen J. Smith
Assistant Technical Director
Weathervane Playhouse provides high-quality live theater with volunteer artists, designers, and technicians under professional direction, delivers education and training in theater arts and appreciation, and engages and entertains its audience to enrich the quality of life in Northeast Ohio.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
Weathervane Playhouse’s 2015-2016 Season Support Provided by:
Akron Community Foundation
The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation
Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust (KeyBank, Trustee)
OMNOVA Solutions Foundation
Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation
Sisler McFawn Foundation
Ohio Arts Council