Auditions for Clybourne Park
Directed by Josh Phillips
Assistant Directed by George Kobler
This show contains strong language and adult themes. Actors must be comfortable with mature content. Auditions will consist of cold reading, no preperation is neccessary. Auditions will be held on September 10th & 11th at the VBC Playhouse at 6:30 PM.
Clybourne Park will be performed at the Von Braun Center Playhouse in 2018 on January 19 – 20 & 25 – 27 at 7:30pm and January 21 & 27 at 2:00pm.
The Story: Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and 2011 Olivier Award for Best Play. Bruce Norris’s hilarious and explosive comedy-drama, inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, is split into two acts set 50 years apart in the same house in the Clybourne Park neighborhood of Chicago. The show highlights the topics of gentrification, white flight, tribalism, and mental illness spanning over decades. The cast consists of seven actors playing different roles in each act.
Act I (1959): Bev and Russ have sold their house and are in the process of moving out. They receive a visit from their local clergyman, Jim, who is concerned about Russ, as well as their neighbor Karl and his deaf, pregnant wife Betsy. Karl informs them that the family buying their house is black (the Younger family from Raisin), and pleads with Russ to back out of the deal, for fear that property values will fall if black residents move in. Russ and Bev’s black housekeeper, Francine, and her husband Albert are reluctantly dragged into the escalating dispute. The act ends with revelations about the suicide of Bev and Russ’s son, Kenneth, who was shunned by the community after returning from the Korean War.
Act II (2009): In the intervening years, Clybourne Park has become an all-black neighborhood, which is now gentrifying. A white couple, Steve and Lindsay, want to buy, raze, and rebuild the now-derelict house, but first have to negotiate with a black couple, Kevin and Lena, who represent the local housing board. Lena is related to the Youngers and does not want to see the house torn down. Steve and Lindsey’s lawyer, Kathy, and a lawyer for the housing board, Tom, attempt to manage the discussion but it soon degenerates into a heated argument. The negotiation is frequently interrupted by Dan (played by Russ), a workman who has found Kenneth’s army trunk buried in the back yard. As fighting erupts and the two couples turn on each other and themselves, Dan opens the trunk and finds Kenneth’s suicide note.
Role Descriptions: The cast consists of seven actors playing different roles in each act:
Francine/Lena: black, 30s/40s :
Francine – maid, wife of Albert
Lena – community representative, wife of Kevin
Albert/Kevin, black, 30s/40s :
Albert – husband of Francine
Kevin – husband of Lena
Russ/Dan, white, late 40s-early 50s :
Russ – husband of Bev
Dan – construction worker
Bev/Kathy: white, late 40s :
Bev – wife of Russ
Kathy – real estate lawyer
Karl/Steve: white, 30s/40s :
Karl – community representative, husband of Betsy
Steve – husband of Lindsey
Betsy/Lindsey: white, late 20s/30s :
Betsy – pregnant and deaf, wife of Karl
Lindsey – pregnant, wife of Steve
Jim/Tom/Kenneth: white, 20s
Jim – local minister
Tom – real estate lawyer
Kenneth – Son of Russ and Bev
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