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'Clybourne Park' surfaces 50 years of wicked controversy | Arts & Culture

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'Clybourne Park' surfaces 50 years of wicked controversy
Arts & Culture
'Clybourne Park' surfaces 50 years of wicked controversy

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The brutally funny Clybourne Park engages audiences in an uncensored journey, revealing the challenges and controversies in one house spanning 50 years of societal changes. As part of Aurora Theatre’s 19th Season Peach State Federal Credit Union Signature Series, the darkly satirical Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy makes its metro Atlanta debut October 2-26.

Written by Bruce Norris and directed by Melissa Foulger, a fictional Chicago community is stuck in the discrimination of 1959, as nervous leaders of the well-appointed suburb attempt to stop the sale of a home to an African-American family. Post-intermission, the stage presents the same home five decades later with new characters played by the same actors, as jokes fly and hidden agendas unfold around millennial gentrification.

A satire loosely based on Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park surfaces callous issues regarding race, real estate and the volatile values of each that have brewed for more than half a century. As the 1959 homeowners Russ and Bev prepare to sell their home to the neighborhood’s first African-American family, their overtly racist neighbor Karl tries to persuade them otherwise. In an era where people normally hide their feelings, truth comes to light creating comically uncomfortable circumstances, especially for Bev’s African-American maid Francine and her quiet husband Albert.

Flash forward 50 years to the same house, as the arrogant white male Steve and his wife Lindsey prepare to tear down the home to build a larger, more modern dwelling. With lawyers involved, the interested parties tiptoe through social politics, pitting race against real estate.

“Although Clybourne Park presents racially charged conflicts and the most colorful language in Aurora’s 18 year history, the quality of the piece, with the brilliant comic themes, are so relevant to our audience,” said Anthony Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director.

The talented seven-person cast includes veteran actors Robin Bloodworth, Tess Malis Kincaid, Danielle Deadwyler, Eric Little, Bobby Labartino, Joe Sykes and Cara Mantella, who each portray different characters in the two acts Melissa Foulger directs and leads the design teams of Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay (set/costumes), Kristen Hunsicker (props), Rob Dillard (lights) and Angela Bryant (sound). They are given the difficult task of creating two enigmatic yet distinct time periods in history.

Recommended for adult audiences, Clybourne Park tickets range from $20 to $40 per person. A discount matinee will be available Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. for $16 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.auroratheatre.com or by calling the Ticket Sales Office at 678-226-6222.

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