Through a series of serendipities, I ended up seeing the ‘most celebrated play of the decade’ (as it says in the program), Clybourne Park, from a wonderful seat on Thursday night.
The play – a cousin to Raisin in the Sun – is set in the same house 50 years apart in Chicago – first, as a house lived in by white folk being sold to black folk, and then an abandoned house in a black neighborhood, being sold to whites, who want to upgrade – including raising its height by 15 feet.
There are lots of other issues going on as well – a Korean veteran suffering from PTSD (not even acknowledged at the time), an old trunk full of history buried and then dug up, relationships distorted by sexism and chauvinism, in addition to racism – all seen as normal and right back in the day, black folk being clear about what they see, white folk in general not being clear about anything.
Maybe I’ve lived in integrated neighborhoods too long – it all seemed very familiar to me, and not as interesting as Playhouse thought it should be. And I thought the many other issues floating around were often jarring, rather than moving the play forward.
But since it’s won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a Tony Award for Best Play, I’m happy to admit that my own experiences have no doubt clouded my judgment, and that I didn’t see the play as most folk of whatever color likely would.
Check it out and see what you think! : >