“Clyborne Park” Examines Issues of Race and Class

Bridgette Nitza, Staff Writer


A small group of actors and actresses gathered together with all contributors of Mount Theatre to present “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris to the Mount Community. Last week, Friday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 24, there were four opportunities to view this adult production.


The program given to each audience member provided an abundance of information on the roots of “Clybourne Park.” It is stated in the director’s note: “Norris shows us that times change, but honest communication about and understanding of such intrinsically ingrained issues remains nearly impossible … despite our best efforts to become better people.”


The director, Dr. Kurt Blaugher, said he chose “Clybourne Park” for a number of reasons.”


“It provoked some of the most interesting class discussions when I’ve taught it in the past year, because the themes it raises (issues of race and class) are themes that our society has to face on a regular basis, despite whatever laws attempt to regulate our lives,” he said.


“It offers the actors a radically different sort of experience than a more ‘traditional’ play does,”  Blaugher said.


This experience is formed by the two-act play allowing its actors and actresses to perform as different generations of characters, one generation (406 Clybourne Park, 1959) descending from the other (406 Clybourne Park, 2009).


“Every Mount Theatre production is the result of work from a number of people other than the actors,” Blaugher said. These people included the production class students, the technical director/designer, work-study students and acting class students.


“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way ‘Clybourne Park’ turned out — I think that cast and crew really did a fantastic job on a difficult play,” Blaugher said.


All characters of this Mount Theatre Presentation “Clybourne Park” were: Russ and Dan, played by James Schuette; Bev and Kathy, played by Andie Petrillo; Francine and Lena, played by Brittney Janey-Tanner; Jim and Tom played by Anthony Case; Albert and Kevin, played by Hanani Felton; Karl and Steve, played by Zachary Wrasse; Betsy and Lindsey, played by Mary Kate Coleman; and Kenneth, played by Ryan Hardison.


Next semester will bring a myriad of shows by the Mount Theatre. Whether it be senior projects, a main stage production, or cabaret nights, all are welcome and encouraged to watch and support the performing arts.


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