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Clybourne Park

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,207 ratings  ·  119 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 MillerThe Piano Lesson by August Wilson
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
23rd out of 80 books — 28 voters
August by Tracy LettsArcadia by Tom StoppardAngels in America by Tony KushnerDoubt by John Patrick ShanleyGlengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
Best Contemporary Plays
10th out of 38 books — 34 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,043)
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Chris
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
Jason
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
Tung
Jan 08, 2012 Tung rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Davelowusa
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
...more
Behzad
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
...more
Andrew
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
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
...more
Bonnie
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
...more
Matthew Wilson
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
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
Sarah
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
Mr. Dalsky
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
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
...more
Maddsurgeon
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
...more
MKTH
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,
...more
Jackie
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
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
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.
Addy
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
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
...more
David Jay
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
...more
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
...more
Amy
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
Julia
Mar 22, 2015 Julia rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
...more
William
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
...more
Michelle R Nickens
This is an emotionally charged play that dissects human behavior, history, relationships, families, and the transformation of people and places. It articulates the impact of war that happens with others but also within ourselves. Well directed this could be a dynamic production. The speed and pace are critical because it is heavy in dialogue. This would definitely be a show I would enjoy being in - the characters have layers of depth, each with their own battles. The play also provides a unique ...more
Sheri
Nov 17, 2013 Sheri rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: play, race
So, I feel like I am pulling a Steve here, not being willing to give a Tony/Pulitzer Prize winning play a 5 star rating, but there a couple things about it that really bothered me.

I liked that it was a sequel to Raisin in Sun (and reading them back to back was useful), but I was not convinced by some of the Act I discussions. Yes, white flight was a part of the cause of urban decay and yes, it is understandable that a middle class white family selling cheaply to a black couple might result in th
...more
Johnny
One of my favorite things about reading contemporary literature is exploring the link between classic canonical texts and our present tradition. In Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris begins a dialogue with A Raisin in the Sun's Lorraine Hansberry, imagining the circumstances for a white family in the neighborhood of Clybourne Park that allow the Younger family to take advantage of moving out of urban Chicago. The first act is brilliantly imagined, focusing in on an older couple who have lost their son ...more
Keshia
Clybourne Park is a play that spans in two acts, with a 50 year generation gap between them and frank discussion of racism in both parts. Connected loosely to A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park explores the home present in it, borrowing the character of Karl Linder.

What I liked most about Clybourne Park was the situational difference from the time gap between the two acts. The characters, the mannerisms, the discussion are so accurately depicted that it is nothing short of brilliant. In 1959, i
...more
Donna
This play spans 50 years. Act One is set in 1959 and borrows characters from the great play by Lorraine Hansberry "A Raisin in the Sun." We see the "other side" -- the white side -- of the anticipated move of a black family into a middle class neighborhood on the near North Side of Chicago. And we learn why the house is being sold cheaply enough that this family can purchase it. Act Two is set in 2009 as the white professionals move back in to the same neighborhood (close to Chicago's downtown) ...more
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