Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, London's Olivier Award for Best Play and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, Clybourne Park is a wickedly funny and fiercely provocative new play about the volatile combination of race and real estate. Clybourne Park runs in The Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse from tonight, January 29, 2013 - February 24 , 2013 and opens on Friday, February 1, 2013.
Act One opens in 1959, as a white couple sells their home to a black family (the Younger family in A Raisin In the Sun), causing uproar in their middle-class neighborhood; Act Two finds the same house, in 2009, changing hands again. And, while the stakes have changed over the years, the debate remains strikingly similar as neighbors wage a hilarious and horrifying pitchEd Battle over territory and legacy that reveals just how far our ideas about race and gentrification have evolved - or, have they?
Clybourne Park is written by Bruce Norris, and directed by The Rep's Artistic Director, Mark Clements. The cast features Associate Artists Lee E. Ernst and Gerard Neugent, and Rep favorites Marti Gobel, Grant Goodman and Jenny McKnight. The cast also features 2010/11 Rep Acting Intern Greta Wohlrabe, newcomer James T. Alfred, as well as current Acting Intern J.R. Yancher. Clybourne Park is a co-production with Arizona Theatre Company. The Executive Producers for this production are Robert H. and Carol O. Manegold.
"When I first read the truly extraordinary Clybourne Park, it knocked me off my feet. It confronts huge subjects: gentrification, race relations and political correctness, among others," says Director Mark Clements. "It's hard for any play to tackle any one of those things, but to take on so many and to take them on so brilliantly and fluidly without lecturing the audiences - while at the same time being hilariously funny - is an extraordinary feat. I've been looking forward to directing this modern masterpiece all season!"
"Mr. Norris' play is set in a fictitious area of Chicago, but every city in America, and indeed many overseas, has areas of 'gentrification,' including our own city of Milwaukee," added Clements. "This may help explain the extraordinary worldwide success of this play thus far - the only play, incidentally, to ever win the Pulitzer Prize, Olivier Award and Tony Award for Best Play for the same production."
Playwright Bruce Norris wrote Clybourne Park in 2010 as a response to Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play, A Raisin In the Sun. It portrays fictional events set before and after Hansberry's play, exploring the neighborhood and house in which the central characters of A Raisin In the Sun decide to move. Clybourne Park premiered on February 21, 2010 at Playwrights Horizons in New York; it was directed by Pam MacKinnon.
James T. Alfred (Albert/Kevin) is making his Rep acting debut; regional credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company and Penumbra Theatre; he has appeared Off-Broadway at New York's Public Theater, and on the TV shows Boss, Prison Break and ATF; he is an alumni of Cardinal Stritch University; Lee E. Ernst (Russ/Dan), a Rep Associate Artist, most recently appeared in the roles of Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank and Samuel Byck in Assassins; last season he appeared as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and Vince Lombardi in Lombardi; Marti Gobel (Francine/Lena), a former Rep Acting Intern (2008/09), most recently appeared as Mrs. Cratchit/Mrs. Oatway in The Rep's production of A Christmas Carol at the historic Pabst Theater; other Rep credits include The Yankee Tavern (2009/10); Gobel is also the Producing Artistic Director of UPROOTED Theatre; Grant Goodman (Jim/Tom) returns to The Rep after appearing as Dr. Givings in last season's In the Next Room or the vibrator play and as Alfred Lunt in Ten Chimneys; other roles at The Rep include Fred in A Christmas Carol and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice; Jenny McKnight (Bev/Kathy) returns to Milwaukee Repertory Theater where she most recently appeared in In the Next Room or the vibrator play and Ten Chimneys; other roles at The Rep include Speaking in Tongues and All My Sons; Gerard Neugent (Karl/Steve), a Rep Associate Artist, is now in his 11th season with The Rep; he most recently appeared as Jacob Marley/Old Joe/Reverend Waghorn in The Rep's productions of A Christmas Carol and Doug in Gutenberg! The Musical!; Greta Wohlrabe (Betsy/Lindsey), a former Rep Acting Intern (2010/11) whose recent credits include Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida and Skylight at American Players Theatre, and Honour at Renaissance Theaterworks; J.R. Yancher (Kenneth), a member of The Rep's Artistic Intern Ensemble, was just seen in The Rep's production of Sense and Sensibility, The Diary of Anne Frank and Assassins; he is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.