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Clybourne Park

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,428 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
At head of title: "The Royal Court presents."
Paperback, 96 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Nick Hern Books
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A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee WilliamsOur Town by Thornton WilderCat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee WilliamsDeath of a Salesman by Arthur MillerAngels in America, Part One by Tony Kushner
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
24th out of 80 books — 31 voters
August by Tracy LettsArcadia by Tom StoppardAngels in America by Tony KushnerWit by Margaret EdsonGlengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
Best Contemporary Plays
13th out of 39 books — 41 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,442)
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Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Jan 16, 2016 Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* rated it liked it
Recommends it for: SJWs
Updated after watching a full performance--
I still don't think "enjoyable" is the proper word for this, but it is an important show with deep themes and a poignant message (maybe several poignant messages). To watch the show go through its full arc from Act I to Act II is really incredible and I've picked up on different things both of the last two nights I've been at the theatre. Yes, the characters are neurotic assholes, but you have to dig past that level and go further. See the way Betsy, Ka
Feb 16, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok
I so wanted to love this play. Way too much of this play is characters mindlessly chatting about nothing and sadly much of what they talk about is uninteresting. The play could be about how people don't talk about things, but Pinter does this much better. As a comedy it is just unfunny, except late in the second act when ethnic and sexist jokes serve partially as a uniting force. As a drama, it works best in the first act. The playwright has written that he thinks this play talks about things we ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Have to say I was very disappointed with this piece. I'd heard such amazing things about it, and it won the Pulitzer and the Tony; and I don't see why. Now it may play differently than it reads, but I didn't do anything for me. It didn't core a new topic in a new and/or surprising way, it doesn't say anything that hasn't already been said in other pieces (and said better in other pieces). I do look forward to seeing a production of this piece next season, to see if my initial thoughts are differ ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Tung rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this completely brilliant play took my breath away. The play is staged in two acts: the first Act takes place in 1959 in the white suburb of Clybourne Park (a nod to A Raisin in the Sun). Russ and Bev are selling their house, and they are visited by acquaintances of theirs (Karl and Betsy) who express concern over the people buying the house. It turns out the concern is rooted in the fact that the buyers are African-American, and the community is afra ...more
Mar 24, 2012 Davelowusa rated it liked it
I had extremely high expectations for this play. It's possible that no version of Clybourne Park could have lived up to them.

In terms of concept, this play is actually quite brilliant, exploring race and community over 50 years in one house: the house that the Younger family moves into at the end of A Raisin in the Sun. (Despite none of the Youngers actually appearing in the play, we can feel them at the periphery.)

However, in terms of the actual content of the play, I was rarely moved by Norri
اگر نمایشنامه ی "مویزی در آفتاب" یا "کشمشی در آفتاب" رو خونده باشین و تحت تأثیر شاهکار بودن خیلی شاهکارش قرار گرفته باشین، مثل من وسوسه میشین که این رو هم بخونین. ولی اولین چیزی که با خواندن این یکی مثل یک کف گرگی میخوره توی صورتتون ترجمه ی ناخوش نمایشنامه س.
آراز بارسقیان که مترجم این کتابه خودش یه نمایشنامه نویس خوبه. و منِ خواننده انتظار دارم که یه نمایشنامه نویس تو ترجمه ی یه نمایشنامه یه مقدار بهتر عمل کنه. یه جا یکی از شخصیت ها تلفن رو جواب میده و به جای اینکه بگه "منزل استولر، بفرمایین؟" م
Mr. Dalsky
Jul 12, 2014 Mr. Dalsky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So incredibly disappointed. I have the utmost respect for Lorraine Hansberry's play "A Raisin in the Sun" and so I consequently had high expectations for Clybourne Park. I actually read it with the hope of pairing it with the original play in my American literature class, as a more recent take on some of the same themes. Not going to happen.

Clybourne Park is like The View written on paper. Everyone is yelling and talking at the same time. The characters are not engaging and they ramble on and on
More like 3.5. On one hand, this is an interesting use of duality and intertextuality with Raisin in the Sun. A playwrights play, in that regard. On the other hand, it's pretentious as hell and the second act is filled with inane dialogue of rich people that are really unlikeable characters. But I'd try to see it if someone was performing it near me.
Lindsay Wilson
Jan 27, 2015 Lindsay Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
With a Pulitzer and a Tony to its name, it seems like Clybourne Park should be a slam dunk. But I don't think it fully lives up to its potential. The premise of this play is excellent, and I think it starts off really well. Sadly, the second act doesn't carry the same weight as the first.

The first act is very strong, with the broken man that is Russ really creating a compelling focal point for the tension that is about to unfold. His inner turmoil and his struggles with Bev provide an interesti
Are modern plays these days just unpleasant people yelling at each other? The only thing that gives me hope is Tom Stoppard. That man can write more than just sound and fury. Seriously, after this, The God of Carnage and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, I’m feeling that playwrights are obsessed with people griping about their problems.

It’s not like A Raisin in the Sun and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof didn’t involve people being miserable and sniping. BUT in those plays, it was convincing that the peop
Matthew Wilson
Jan 10, 2013 Matthew Wilson rated it it was amazing
Karl Lindner, the only white character in A Raisin in the Sun, returns to the white neighborhood of Clybourne Park in a desperate effort to prevent the first black family from moving into the neighborhood. In act one we see the alternate universe of A Raisin in the Sun, the middle class white world of 1950s Chicago—iced tea, black maids, forced polite talk, shame and gossip, repressed rage, and mostly fear of the future. In act two we see the same neighborhood 50 years later, transformed into an ...more
Lenny Grossman
Oct 02, 2013 Lenny Grossman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always maintained that plays are not complete until performed for an audience. That's really the definition of theater since the first guy told his wife about the woolly mammoth he killed for dinner over the evening campfire. All you need is one performer and one audience member. So, whenever I read a play I try to picture it in my head (many times I'll choose a role and read those lines out loud). The difference between written page and performance is huge space, open and ready for creativ ...more
May 15, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
I'm disappointed that I didn't love this play and I don't agree with many of the reviews of this play. I think the applause that is given to this play is because this is kind of an anesthetic view of race relations. In the end, nothing is resolved in either time period by either side. There is no real dialog, there is no understanding reached. Both just kind of end in a truce that everyone is willing to abide by. For what motivation? Money primarily, but also a sense of decorum. I feel like if y ...more
I couldn't decide between choosing this for the BookRiot challenge (Task 23) or Wit. I read both!

I'm not...great at reading plays (or screenplays). I just can't grasp tone very well unless it's spelled out (thank you, Mr. Williams) for me. I did like--or, rather, respond to Wit--but I think there were elements of it that were personal for me. I was also able to watch the HBO movie done by Mike Nichols, which was beautifully done; I wish I could find a good production of Clybourne Park to watch.
April Helms
Dec 26, 2015 April Helms rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel C.
I love literary permutations so when a guy in my book club mentioned "Clybourne Park," I knew I had to read it. Bruce Norris' play bookends "A Raisin in the Sun" by imagining the white family that sold their house to the Youngers, and then, in 2009, the white family that buys the house in a now predominantly black neighborhood.

So I gotta say… I feel like Bruce Norris missed the heart of "Raisin." Lorraine Hansberry wrote a complicated play about a family whose members had different dreams, but w
I have mixed feelings about this one; at first I thought it was a little dull, not deserving of all the hype and acclaim. The first act is decidedly slow, and has a lot of seemingly pointless tangents. This is good texture and relationship-building, however, and it pays off in the second act, which has different characters in similar situations. The second act is paced very well, as tensions mount and eventually explode, and it makes it worth the rather cold first act.

Using A Raisin in the Sun a
Mar 21, 2014 MKTH rated it liked it
Best (or critically important to the text) Quotes:

"JIM: Knowledge is power, Bev.
BEV: Then I choose to remain powerless."

"and he says I don’t see the point of it as if there has to be some grand justification for every single thing that a person – ... – it’s just that after two and a half years you’d think that with time, because that’s supposed to be the thing that helps, isn’t it? A little bit of time –"

"KARL: And fitting into a community is really what it all comes down to."

"BEV: I mean, in,
I saw this at the Steppenwolf my first year in Chicago, and now here I am reading it for a grad playwriting class. In the lobby of the Steppenwolf, there was a map of Chicago, and during intermission audience members could mark with color-coded sticky notes the neighborhoods they live in, the neighborhoods they love, and the neighborhoods where they would never go. Although white flight and gentrification are hardly unique to Chicago, while reading this play I found myself to be incredibly grate ...more
Sambath Meas
Feb 19, 2015 Sambath Meas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park demonstrates how caught up their characters are in other people’s differences rather than their similarities. Their plays magnify and characterize the axis of identity and multilayered relationships on both sides: black female, white female, black man, white gay man, white heterosexual, etc. They project their own understanding of human nature and racism; but in the case of Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris exposes all human ...more
Mr. Smidl
Aug 13, 2014 Mr. Smidl rated it really liked it
Shelves: theatre
I have read Raisin in the Sun a few times and seen it (on film and stage). I will continue to look to find a good production of this play, because I really want to see it done on the stage. It's a great play and I wish this could be done in schools in the future. Yes, you'll have to have the right cast members, but this was a unique play to read that really reflects race of the past 50 years.
Nov 21, 2010 Addy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, read-in-2011
Saw the wonderful Woolly Mammoth production and couldn't wait to get my hands on the script to dig deeper in. Well-executed, intricate work gives the audience a lot to work on without unnecessarily running into preachy or academic territories. It stays grounded, with authentic voices while managing broad and personal themes simultaneously.
Angela Rodriguez
Jun 05, 2015 Angela Rodriguez rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I had high expectations for this play and, sadly, it did not live up to those expectations. I am really disappointed, especially since the author decided to set the plot in the setting of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun," one of my all time favorite plays.

The first act takes place in 1959 in the white suburb of Clybourne Park. Russ and Bev are selling their home, and in their place, an African American family is moving in, thus racial prejudice between neighbors emerges. Now, this fir
David Jay
Jun 16, 2014 David Jay rated it really liked it
I love ideas like this--take an existing piece of literature and tweak it a little and create something entirely new. The first act of this wonderful and thought provoking play takes place at the same time as "A Raisin in the Sun." It is the story of the family that is selling their house to Hansberry's Youngers. Act 2 jumps ahead 50 years; the previously all white neighborhood has changed and changed again, and gentrifiers with money are heading to town.

A real conversation starter, lots of grea
Alexander Davidson
2011 Pulitzer Prize winner and 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.

I was hoping for a little more than a bunch of people talking over each other all the time. It was a great discussion of two time periods (Act One 1959, Act Two 2009) about the same location. First, the white community is nervous about a black family moving in, then a pre-dominantly African-American neighborhood is worried about gentrification. Interesting thoughts on race, but sadly presented in a way that I can't really decide if I
Jan 03, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Clybourne Park has been really highly reviewed, and has been on my shortlist to see or read for a while. It was in the Berkshires this summer, and I missed it (dammit – it was chosen as one of the top plays of the year in the paper, too.) This is one hell of a show. Act One is set in 1959, and is about a group fighting to keep African-Americans out of their neighborhood (lowers the property values, you see.) Act Two is set in 2009, stars the same actors as Act One, but in different roles (as com ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Julia rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
read on the airplane home. as i texted afterward to the friend who lent it to me, "that was a glorious shitshow." he misread, took it as an insult to the play and not a compliment. which, well, maybe it was subconsciously an insult. not sure how all that carefully written chaos would play out onstage.
another thought: the white characters of the second act are excruciatingly real & horrible, the black characters not so much, honestly—they're more general & thickly drawn. alas. a fault of
Feb 03, 2016 Meghan rated it liked it
Shelves: plays, 1950s, 1960s
Clybourne Park received a lot of much-deserved attention, and it is a play that examines race, place, and the idea of haunting in a beautiful and powerful way. However, I don't think I can give a proper review of this until I see it staged. So much of the writing is dependent on being read aloud simultaneously to give the effect of everyone talking over one another that's hard to mimic on the page. Additionally, I found the first act significantly stronger than the second.

Recommended to: fans o
Peter Orvetti
Sep 25, 2015 Peter Orvetti rated it really liked it
I am a gentrifier, a white middle-class resident of a traditionally black neighborhood in Washington, D.C. As with Clybourne Park, my neighborhood slowly shifted from white to black as the 20th century progressed, then went through a significant downturn in the mid-1960s that lasted for about 30 years. Poverty and crime were endemic. When the city began its economic revival around 2000, the neighborhood where I would move in 2002 began turning a corner -- but pushing up the prices again for thos ...more
Jul 24, 2014 William rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theatre
Part Raisin in the Sun, part Arcadia with its overlapping eras! and more than a whiff of Piano Lesson -- Clybourne Park explores the change of neighborhood. First in block busting as the first black family moves in, and then with the question of gentrification. Of course, the characters carry more than the schematics of politics and social change. Norris weaves in human stories: place is made up of our lives, the hopes that are never quite we get fulfilled.

Norris does an interesting move by usin
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