Clybourne Park Review

943 words - 4 pages

Clybourne Park is a spin off from Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 classic A Raisin in the Sun. It tackles the issue of race, community, social status as it relates to housing and real estate.
ACT ONE, set in 1959, chronicles the life of Bev and Russ, a family white, on the verge of leaving their home in the predominantly white community of Clybourne Park. They had decided to sell their house for less than the value due to their eagerness to leave the horrible memories of their son’s suicide behind. Despite the beautiful décor and neatness of the living room set, it was a far contrast from the hostility and depression that lied within the walls. The dialogue between Bev and Russ at the ...view middle of the document...

ACT TWO fast forwarded fifty years later to 2009, and the audience sees that part of Linder’s prediction is true as the living room set was transformed into a cheap and poverty-stricken state. The arrival of African-American families in the inner suburb of Clybourne Park led to the departure of white folks from the community and the neighbourhood’s property values went into declined shortly after. However, the community is now undergoing gentrification and the Local Property Owner’s Association is meeting to discuss proposed plans to demolish the Younger’s old home and build a new house on the same grounds. The Association consisted of Lena (grand-niece of the Younger’s) and her husband, Kevin who were reluctant to allow a white couple, Steve and Lindsey to realize their real-estate dreams. During this era it is natural for lawyers to be present at such meetings, which was played by Ricossa and Jeff.
At first the meeting is friendly as talks are made about holidays and ski trips. Eventually the subject of race surfaces and the friendly meeting devolves into a shouting match. The conversation literally became a match between the white and the black couple. The two couples vented out a cross-fire of racist and sexist jokes in an attempt to prove who was least easily offended. The profanity and hostility hurled echoed in the theatre and faint laughter could be heard coming from the audience.
Some of the jokes were rather uncomfortable to hear but it proved that time had not healed the strained relationship between the black and white communities. Although Lindsey stated that half of her friends were black, it did not...

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