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Clybourne Park

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  901 ratings  ·  102 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 MillerWit by Margaret Edson
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
23rd out of 80 books — 25 voters
Hamlet by William ShakespeareWaiting for Godot by Samuel BeckettRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom StoppardThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeThe Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Theatrical Greatness
40th out of 137 books — 17 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,505)
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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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Feisty Harriet
I highly recommend reading "Raisin in the Sun" prior to this to get a little more context; I think this would be very different seeing it versus reading it, perhaps easier to see. The characters have a lot of "chat time" that...well, it seems it could be tightened up and reworked a bit to make this clearer and cleaner...but then again, perhaps the point is to be a little murky and dirty, the topics of race, civil rights, racism, and gentrification have a thousand shades of gray.
Hayley DeRoche
Topically, it's a great addition to the discussion regarding neighborhood shifts, racism, and gentrification. I think ultimately it's a play I would rather see performed than read -- there were several instances where I felt irritated that I couldn't tell the home-buying characters apart during long stretches of the second act, in part because of the quick inane babbling that they participate in, as well as many quick quips of dialogue due to quick conversational scenes. However, the overall pla...more
Tex Tourais
Really nice piece of work. Norris picks up a stray thread from Hansberry's "Raisin in the Sun" and twists and twists and twists it. In the read, Act I felt more subtle and less preachy than Act II, but there's still some fun to be had in the second half. I'm thinking the reading of this play would pair nicely with the watching of "Raisin" for an 11th grade unit. The final assesment could be to Norrisize a different work from their high school education.
A good pal sent a copy of this Pulitzer Prize winning play to me after seeing it performed in London. As usual, I sat it on my shelf and told myself I’d get to it soon. Fail. I’m pleased I finally picked it up, having forgotten how enjoyable reading scripts can be. Clybourne Park deserved the Pulitzer for the brilliance and potency of its message about the legacies of racism and is highly recommended.
Okay. I don't get it. I have read many plays and believe I have a good grasp on what works and what does not, and this play just did not do it for me. I did not find any of the dialogue interesting or controversial. I found it boring and lacking of structure. I cringed, but for all of the wrong reasons. If someone could please PLEASE enlighten me on what I am missing, I promise to be truly grateful.
As a reader and audience member I find it necessary to have at least one person to let me in, and...more
Steven 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.
2011 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama. The first act takes place in the 1950's where a young black couple purchases a home in a predominantly white neighborhood, and the neighbors are concerned that it will ruin the neighborhood.

The second act takes place in 2009, in the same house, which is now incredibly run down. A white couple has purchased the house, now in a predominantly black neighborhood. The new owners are making plans for extensive improvements on the house, adding on another level and...more
شاید این مدل از نژادپرستی سیاه و سفید برای من در ایران زندگی کرده فقط در فیلم ها و کتاب ها دیده بشه، اما این قدر این موضوع به شکل های دیگه گوشه کنار این دنیا وجود داره که، خیلی خوب، خیلی خوب میشه نگاه نوریس رو فهمید و براش مصداق پیدا کرد و بهش آفرین گفت.
Tyler Crumrine
Fantastic play. Not at all surprised it won the Pulitzer. Norris gets at the heart of the racial and economic tension that still exists today in a way that few others have. I'm very interested in seeing how audiences will respond when Pittsburgh Public Theatre puts it on later this season. Depending on how they approach the show, they could easily get a few laughs. Laughs that would be more damning of the audience than entertaining. Still, with the exception of a few characters in the first act,...more
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