Geva's 41st Season Continues with CLYBOURNE PARK, Now thru 3/9
Geva Theatre Center' 41st Season continues with Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. Directed by Mark Cuddy, this wickedly funny and fiercely provocative play about the volatile combination of race and real estate begins performances tonight, February 11 and runs in the Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage through March 9.
In Act One it's 1959, and a white couple sells their home to the Younger family of A Raisin in the Sun, causing an uproar in their all-white neighborhood. Fast forward 50 years in Act Two and the same house is bought by a white couple with plans for gentrification - and a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. While the stakes have changed, the debate remains as neighbors reveal just how far ideas about race have evolved...or have they?
Bruce Norris' plays include The Actor Retires (1992), The Vanishing Twin (1996), The Infidel (2000), Purple Heart (2002), We All Went Down To Amsterdam (2003), The Pain And The Itch (2004), and The Unmentionables (2006), among others. He is the recipient of the Whiting Foundation Prize for Drama (2006) as well as two Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best New Work and the Kesselring Prize Honorable Mention for 2006. As an actor he can be seen in the films A Civil Action and The Sixth Sense.
Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris' modern answer to Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, is somewhat based on historical events. Hansberry's parents bought a house in the white neighborhood of Washington Park, an action that resulted in a landmark legal case (Hansberry v. Lee, 311 U.S. 32 (1940)).The Hansberry family home, a red brick three-floor at 6140 S. Rhodes, which they bought in 1937, is up for landmark status before the Chicago City Council's Committee on Historical Landmarks Preservation. Clybourne Park is the only play to win the "Triple Crown" of theatre: the Olivier Award, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for Best Play. The play premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in February 2010. Its production at London's Royal Court in August 2010 was critically acclaimed and by early 2011, the play had transferred to the West End where it ran for several months. Clybourne Park opened on Broadway in April 2012 and ran until September of that year.
The cast of Geva's production of Clybourne Park features Kristen Adele as Fran/Lena, John Cummings as Kenneth, Skip Greer (Geva's productions of You Can't Take It With You, The Music Man, Inherit the Wind, A Christmas Carol and Our Town), Jessica Kitchens as Betsy/Lindsay, Christian Pedersen as Karl/Steve, Jim Poulos (Geva's productions of A Christmas Carol, Company, Amadeus, Convenience) as Jim/Tom, Roya Shanks as Bev/Kathy and Daniel Morgan Shelley as Albert/Kevin.
Clybourne Park is directed by Mark Cuddy and the design team includes G.W. Mercier (scenic and costume design), Ann G. Wrightson (lighting design), Bettie O. Rogers (hair/wig design) and Lindsay Jones (sound design).
This production of Clybourne Park is a co-production with Cleveland Play House, originating at Geva.
The Lead Co-Producer of Clybourne Park is Buckingham Properties. 13WHAM is the media sponsor.
Geva will be hosting a series of community-wide discussions and post-show conversations on the topics that Clybourne Park tackles as part of Geva's "Theatre and Race: A Community Conversation," (January 23 - April 27). These community conversations are made possible with support from The New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Information and a schedule of events for "Theatre and Race: A Community Conversation" can be found at www.gevatheatre.org