Friday, August 05, 2011

Clybourne Park, a twist on A Raisin in the Sun

Last year, I intended to see Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth and didn't get around to it. Since then it won a Pulitzer, so that plus all of the buzz from last year means that the line wrapped around the inside of the building more than once at the one pay-what-you-can performance they held. They only had standing room tix left and I was feet away from the counter when the declared the show to be sold out. So, I bit the bullet and bought a ticket.

I wrote about the play for Clybourne Park, a twist on A Raisin in the Sun

The playwright (who is also an actor) says he wrote the play, in part because he was really into the play as a kid, and that he never got to play Karl Lindner (who I think is the play's only white male character). I understand wanting to see yourself represented in a while I watched it, I identified with the maid in the first act (since she is the only black woman in the play). She placates because she has to.

And then in the second act, the corresponding black female character, who is not a maid, can't get a word in edgewise. I was understanding her frustration until she egged on another character's foolish wish to tell a racist joke. Then she told an insulting joke herself and I didn't get her motivation. She was frustrated when she was continually disregarded, but nothing she had done seemed to lend itself to her stoking the fires of the verbal brawl that ensued after the joke was told.