September 6 - October 7, 2012
Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
By Bruce Norris
THE SHARP-WITTED, PROVOCATIVE AWARD-WINNING COMEDY
This wickedly funny and fiercely provocative play about race, real estate, gender, and the volatile values of each has won nearly every honour the theatre has to give, including the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.
One house, two histories. In Chicago, 1959, an African-American family moves into a house in Clybourne Park, to the mortification of its all-white residents. Fast-forward 50 years, and the house is again changing hands, this time to a young, white couple with plans for demolition. Inspired by the American theatre classic, A Raisin in the Sun, provocateur Bruce Norris skewers the conventions of political correctness with humour and insight. Lightning-quick repartee will leave the audience laughing, perhaps even shocked, and definitely reconsidering what it means to call a place home.
Contains mature content and coarse language
Approximate running time: 2 hours (including one intermission)
"Intelligent, hilarious, and sometimes shocking, this play will have you talking about it long after you leave the theatre" —Jerry Wasserman, The Province [Read More]
"Bitterly funny production Clybourne Park plumbs racial divide" —Erika Thorkelson, The Vancouver Sun [Read More]
"It's funny, it's sad, it's shocking, it's engaging, and very, very witty" —Allyson McGrane, Plank Magazine [Read More]
"Get your tickets…a well acted production of a cleverly conceived and written script" —Gillian Lockitch, Review from the House [Read More]
"A wicked twist of political incorrectness" —John Jane, Review Vancouver [Read More]
"This evocative comedy brought the house down" —Melissa Cornwell, Vancouver Vantage [Read More]
Winner! 2012 Tony Award for Best Play
Winner! 2011 Pulitzer Prize
"A theatrical treasure! Indisputably, uproariously funny" —Entertainment weekly
"Ferociously smart! A vital, superlative production of the sharp-witted, sharp-toothed Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy" —The New York Times
"A savagely funny and insightful time bomb!" —The Hollywood Reporter
"Funny as hell! The theater shakes with gales of laughter" —NY post
"Hilariously funny! A master class in comic writing and playing" —The New Yorker
"An ingenious, audacious, brilliantly acted lightning rod of a play!" —Entertainment Weekly
"Dangerous, provocative and pulverizingly funny!" —Variety
"Offensively delicious and combustible!" —The London Guardian
"Thought-provoking, intelligent, and LOL funny. I highly recommend this Pulitzer Prize-winning play with this excellent cast. I was there for the Sunday matinee and we gave it a standing O. A rarity with Vancouver audiences and well-deserved here"
"The play is a masterpiece of writing and the production did it complete justice. Congratulations—we really enjoyed it!"
"Another excellent Arts Club production. The messages in this play really resonated with me, as the neighbourhood depicted in Act I was exactly like the suburb I grew up in in the 1950s, and the situation in Act II is being enacted daily in many of our suburbs today"
"After reading about the play we thought it would be sad/dark. It was EXCELLENT! An amazing range of sadness, hilariously funny situations, and upsetting racial confrontations with overall excellent acting. We loved it!"
"We went to Clybourne Park with an open mind, but some trepidation. The reviews I'd read weren't stellar—saying the stereotypes were overdone, language was bad and some parts, such as the deaf girl, were offensive and too American. I don't think those reviewers really understood what they were watching. The play is about stereotypes and yes, sadly, 50 years ago we would put the deaf person in the room to the side and sign badly at her. Poking fun at our ridiculous attempts to be enlightened is the point. How many times have we heard "I know several black people." Throwing it back at us is hilarious and revealing. The play was well directed, moving at a frantic pace with sharply delivered lines. The casting was fabulous, especially considering each actor played dual roles, they were perfect in each. I have to say we loved Deborah Williams, especially as Kathy. We all know a "Kathy" or two. And, as for the language, hardly an issue in the big picture. So, we (I and my 14-year-old daughter) thoroughly enjoyed the show and we had a nice chat on the way home about how far we think we've evolved about racism and stereotypes and how far we may actually have"
"A challenging play and an excellent production. There wasn't a weak performance and Janet Wright's direction was spot on. I laughed, squirmed, reflected and marveled. It was wonderful to see actors change parts so widely in one production. Usually we have to attend several plays to see the breadth of an actors' abilities. Bravo!"
—Deb, North Vancouver
"An entertaining and poignant show which pulls many emotional strings in your heart. Each episode and character reminds you of someone you have met in your life. The actors did a fabulous job. Big thanks!!!"
"It was thought provoking and well-written, asking the audience to contemplate how little has changed over the 50 years since apartheid and the black-white race issue was so in front of Americans. It still is, unfortunately. I am involved in an American doctoral program and have come to understand what a front-and-centre issue the black-white race issue is. I'm glad that the Arts Club theatre is showing Canadian audiences that we still have a lot of work to do"
"Excellent play. It not only happened over 50 years ago. I can see it happening now in certain cities. A must see for everyone"
"Loved it—tight and well-paced. Great sets and amazing performances. Thank you"
—Maggie, West Vancouver
"This was a very well-acted play and an interesting story. We have told quite a few people about it so it did stick with us!!!!"
"I took my sister-in-law with me as we both enjoy coming to the Stanley Theater very much. We found the actors to be very professional and focused. They all knew their lines and spoke with emotions that made you feel the situation was actually real. We have tickets for a few other shows and cannot wait to come again for the next production. Thank you all for a great day!"
"We bought season's tickets and this was our first show. What great entertainment. Our seats were great—roomy and comfortable. The theatre is beautiful. Staff are friendly. And what a great first show. Thoroughly entertaining, with humor, fun, and a message thrown in as well. Perfect all around"
"My message is that this play REALLY has a message. In fact, the message is so important that it would benefit by at least one other special, out of the ordinary talkback night -- if the cast could handle it. The play's dialogue is like jazz with a driving beat. It has melody, rhythm, and of course, tonal colour. The comical harmony also has mirror-like biting disharmony. In fact, the play seems like a mixture of Bebop and Fusion jazz. The acting and directing were crisp and multi-layered, like a extremely well-crafted musical composition, which will move you and will at times likely shock you. They say that music lies within all of us. The heartbeat of this play also lies within all of us. The “jazz” of this play simply bedazzled me"
—Brian, Pitt Meadows
"A very witty, dialogue intense, humorous production. Kudos to all for bringing this production to Vancouver. Sasa Brown stood out in her dramatic, divergent roles in Scene 1 vs. Scene 2"
"An absolutely wonderful production, the actors did an excellent job and the story line was very interesting. My daughter and I discussed the difference in my generation to hers and felt that her generation was more accepting because of growing up with other nationalities it was much easier for her to accept than had been when I was her age. We went on to have a lively discussion about our neighbourhood and how diverse it has become but how much we enjoyed all of the different neighbours"
—Billie, Port Moody
"I was really impressed with the cast’s ability to learn and repeat without effort the lines in this production. There were a lot of words to remember and to express with much expression and no hesitation. To keep the whole play moving well and get the message across with comedy when needed, sadness when required. Naughty and nice when it was called for. Everyone did such a good job. Thoroughly enjoyed!"
"What a stunning season opener! Everything about this production is brilliant and shows the talented hand of director Janet Wright. The entire ensemble, all amazingly talented, works beautifully together, reminding me of an intricate ballet of words. It is savagely funny, and seriously thought-provoking, a difficult combination pulled off so perfectly. I highly recommend it.
It's great to be back for Season 49!"
"The play and the actors are outstanding. They kept me so drawn into their conversations that when it came time for intermission I had thought only 15 minutes had passed, not an hour"
"Awesome! We really enjoyed this entertaining production"
"You advertised it as a comedy—but it was MUCH more than that! Thought-provoking, and canvassed some critical ongoing societal issues! Entertaining and well-acted—the cast did a great role in playing quite diverse roles! Thanks!"
—Belinda Kendall-White, Australia
"I took my mum to see this powerful play for her birthday—and neither of us regretted it for a second! We're both generally musical theatre fans, especially through the Arts Club, but this play was something else. Superb characterizations, brilliant (and often subtle) humour, and as is always the case with the Arts Club, sublime acting. Another great night out, thank you!"
"Excellent production of an interesting and very funny play. The cast was superb—first play in a while that has caused me to whistle and cheer at the curtain call"
"I loved Clybourne Park. It mixed a perfect amount of comedy with tragedy. It addressed some of the racial taboos that still exist today and our culture's obsession with being "politically correct" around everything from race to sexuality to mental illness. I would recommend this show to anyone"
"Outstanding! Damm we have some great talent here in Metro. This our 3rd year as subscribers and there will be many more to come. Keep up the good work and keep the great productions coming…"
"We both really enjoyed this play. Thought the acting was incredible and the story thought provoking"
"Superb dialogue & so witty, funny & thought provoking at the same time"
"Although a theatre critic friend of ours whom we met in the lobby at the interval pondered the question whether this play was a drama or a comedy, we found ourselves enjoying it nonetheless, acknowledging that life often confronted us with drama and comedy wrapped in the same package,. A superbly acted, witty, and thought-provoking play that we would recommend without reservation"
—Ivy, North Vancouver
"Such a powerful play!! In my view one of the best performances in some years.... Stunning drama and some comic relief as well...looking forward to the rest of the season!!"
"WE thoroughly enjoyed your production of this timely piece of theatre. It began deceptively slowly, but soon built to a gripping back story of racial prejudice and heartbreaking personal loss. Excellent stage set and sparkling dialogue. We laughed at those race based jokes in spite of ourselves"
—Sheila, Maple Ridge
"A spectacular beginning to what promises to be a stellar season"
"It’s been a long time since we’ve enjoyed theatre so much. Brilliant, witty dialogue, combining hilarity and soul-wrenching drama, skillful direction and acting so superb that it defies description. If you only see one play this year, make sure it’s Clybourne Park!"
"As always the play was terrific—characters believable, sets wonderful, costumes timely, etc. However, my accolades go out to the front box office where I am always met (in person or by 'phone) with the most cheerful and helpful individuals. They are a breath of fresh air—never too busy to answer questions, sort out problems, find solutions. First impressions count for a lot, and these "up front" people are positively worth their weights in gold. Many thanks for starting off another season with a topical social issue and for retaining the ever helpful box office staff"
"It was a very enjoyable play. Had heart and substance, both which we enjoyed very much. Made you think"
"It was very exciting and we 3 loved it. It was really so original that it kept us mesmerized for the entire 2 hours. All the performers did an outstanding job. Congratulations to all of them"
"Brilliant. Leaves some thought about how far society has come. One’s interpretation, upbringing, social standards. Mmm still a lot of questions for some. I believe we are one and equal"
"Clybourne Park was hilarious, uncomfortable, thought-provoking, and relevant! Act 1, set in the 50s, was so much easier to laugh at. "Oh they were so racist back then. Look at them go." And then Act II hits you with a script that sounds familiar, like you've had conversations like that before. And it's discomforting to hear a bit (or a lot) of yourself in what the characters are saying. I was skeptical about seeing a show about race from a very American context. But even if the debate about race and class and gentrification is different in Vancouver's context, it's still very relevant. Even now, a week after seeing the show, I can't stop thinking or talking about it, or about race and class. This is why arts and culture matters!"
"Had my rapt attention from beginning to end. Impeccable timing and delivery of well-written dialogue by an amazing ensemble of actors. Thank you for a great evening of theatre!"
"Things change over time. Society, family and the way that situations of today are different than yesterday. But are they really? I watched with great interest as the story unfolded and suggest you do the same. With laughter, a few tears and themes that make you think—I hope that you will enjoy this play as much as I did. Bravo on a play that starts the season with a bang"
"Sensational theatre! A beautiful script full of large and small moments that resonate and shock. Ms. Wright's direction and the acting was top notch. So glad I was able to finally see this important play. Highly recommended!"
—Danny, Key West, FL
"A.MAZING! We thoroughly enjoyed this play—the social significance, the acting, the sets, the costumes—everything was excellent. These actors must have been thoroughly exhausted and spent after each performance—they put so much heart and soul into it. I am a little ashamed to admit that I've never really appreciated how incredibly difficult it must be to play more than one role in a production. This was incredible—every actor played not one, but two very significant parts and played them so very well. A huge THANK YOU to the entire COMPANY for a totally moving, entertaining and impressive presentation"
"I thought it was very well done. The acting was superb. Enjoyed the new experience as a first time season ticket holder"
"We enjoyed the production as it was an entertaining script, funny yet thought provoking and very well-performed. Some of the "jokes" were rather shocking for our taste but then they were meant to be in the context of the play so we took them in stride!"
"This was an excellent production with a great ensemble. I have recommended it to all my contacts"
"Loved it! A thought-provoking, witty production dealing with many issues of the day. Great performances from the cast"
"Loved it—very powerful! A fellow thespian"
"Loved it! Great cast and perfect timing. A really enjoyable evening"
—Don, West Vancouver
"We loved Clybourne Park. The acting was solid and the story extremely well-told. It was a great afternoon of entertainment and fostered a lively discussion amongst the group after the play. Well done. I like the variety of genres you offer and always am impressed with the level of talent we have in Vancouver. Well done Arts Club"
—Karen, Port Moody
"Loved this play although I found the second act funnier than the first. Amazing to me how little things have changed when it comes to race. It may seem like a modern problem but it is ages old and doesn't go away no matter how educated we are. The play captured the dilemma perfectly and was cleverly done. The gentleman playing the grieving father and contractor was wonderful. He got both roles just right and was funny with it. Highly recommend this play"
—Johanna, New Westminster
By Bruce Norris
Starring Sebastien Archibald, Sasa Brown, Daren Herbert, Marci T. House, Robert Moloney, Andrew Wheeler, Deborah Williams
Director Janet Wright
Set Designer Ted Roberts
Costume Designer Barbara Clayden
Lighting Designer Marsha Sibthorpe
Sound Designer Brian Linds
Stage Managerr Marion Anderson
Assistant Stage Manager Sarah Pearson