Buffalo Theater Ensemble (BTE), the professional Equity company in residence at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC), opens its 2022-2023 three-play season with Bruce Norris’ Tony, Olivier and Pulitzer Prize-winning “Clybourne Park,” directed by Kurt Naebig+ (Sept. 8 – Oct. 9).
The thought-provoking work received its Chicago premiere at
Steppenwolf Theater Company and will be presented at the MAC prior to the release of its highly anticipated film adaptation. There will be a preview performance 8 pm, Thursday, Sept. 8; Press Opening is 8 pm Friday, Sept 9.
Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Clybourne Park” is a provocative two act comedy/drama set in the same house 50 years apart in the suburbs of Chicago. Act I is set in 1959 when Russ and Bev are moving to the suburbs – selling their home to the neighborhood’s first Black family. Act II is decades later when a young white couple buys the same property with plans to demolish and build a larger home. Now a predominately Black community battles to protect the historic qualities of the community in the face of gentrification. The New York Times calls “Clybourne Park,” “vital, sharp-witted and ferociously smart.”
“Clybourne Park” premiered in February 2010 at Playwrights Horizons in New York and had its Chicago premiere in 2011 at Steppenwolf Theater Company in a production directed by
Steppenwolf ensemble member Amy Morton. “Clybourne Park” was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play. This past May it was announced there will be an upcoming film adaptation of the play, to be directed by Pam MacKinnon, director of the 2010 stage premiere. The film is due to begin shooting in the fall in the UK and on location in the US
In addition to “Clybourne Park,” playwright Norris’ plays include “The Infidel” (2000), “Purple Heart” (2002), “We All Went Down to Amsterdam” (2003), “The Pain and the Itch” (2004 ), “The Unmentionables” (2006) and “A Parallelogram” (2010) all of which had their premieres at Steppenwolf Theater Company. Norris’ honors include Pulitzer, Tony and Olivier awards for “Clybourne Park” and the Steinberg Playwright Award (2009) for his body of work and outstanding potential.
Says play director Naebig, “I love directing the works of Chicago-based playwrights. They are often insightful without being confrontational. In ‘Clybourne Park,’ Norris uses a light hand to address topics that can be uncomfortable, such as race and gentrification and in doing so, creates a safe space for discussion and possibly change.”
The cast for “Clybourne Park” includes Jamie Black (Albert/Kevin), Bryan Burke+ (Russ Stroller/Dan), Lisa Dawn+ (Bev Stroller/Kathy), Raina Lynn (Francine/Lena), Kelli Walker+ (Bev Stroller/Kathy) , Harrison Weger (Jim/Tom/Kenneth Stoller) and Zack Wilson (Karl Linder/Steve).
The design team for “Clybourne Park” includes Kurt Naebig+* (Direction), Sarah Lewis (Scenic Design), Kimberly G. Morris (Costume Design), Garrett Bell (Lighting Design), Christopher Kriz+^ (Sound Design). Stage Manager is Sarah West*. Student Assistant Stage Manager (and BTE Stage Management Scholar) is Brandon Luna.
Buffalo Theater Ensemble presents Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” in the Playhouse Theater of the McAninch Arts Center located at 425 Fawell Blvd. on the campus of College of DuPage Sept. 8 – Oct. 9. There will be a preview performance 8 pm, Thursday, Sept. 8; Press Opening is 8 pm Friday, Sept. 9. Performances are 8 pm Thursday – Saturday; 3 pm Sunday.
Tickets are $42. Single show tickets go on sale in person at the MAC Box Office beginning at 11 am, Saturday, Aug. 6. Single show tickets go on sale online at AtTheMAC.org and by phone at 630.942.4000 beginning noon, Tuesday, Aug. 9 , Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group sales information email [email protected] or call 630.942.3026.
Tickets are currently on sale by subscription. A Season Flex-Pass is also available online redeemable for each production during BTE’s 2022 – 2023 Season. For more information about BTE’s season, visit AtTheMAC.org or call the Box Office 630.942.4000.