Wilkes University Theatre Presents Clybourne Park, Sept. 27-30
Wilkes University Theatre presents the Pulitzer Prize-and the Tony Award-winning play, Clybourne Park. The performances will take place on Sept. 27, 28, and 29 at 8 p.m. with matinee performances on Sept. 29 and 30 at 2 p.m. The production is at Wilkes’ Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, 239 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre.
The play by Bruce Norris serves as a response to Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark play, A Raisin in the Sun, which is about an African-American family aspiring to move beyond segregation with the purchase of their first home. Norris sets the play as bookends to Hansberry’s piece. The scenes are set fifty years apart and are staged in the same bungalow in Chicago’s northwest side.
In 1959, Russ and Bev are moving out to the suburbs after the tragic death of their son. In doing so, they sell their house to the neighborhood’s first black family. Fifty years later in 2009, a role reversal occurs when a young white couple buys the lot in what is now a predominantly black neighborhood, signaling a new wave of gentrification. In both instances, race is pitted against real estate with this home as the battleground.
The production is directed by Wilkes University Theatre’s Jon P. Liebetrau, assistant professor of theatre.The student cast includes: Melissa Beradelli as Bev and Kathy; Brianna Rowland as Francine and Lena; Marcy Ledvinka as Betsy and Lindsey; Joshua Shepard as Albert and Kevin; Justin Gaskill as Russ and Dan; Kris Tjornhom as Jim and Tom; Alex Booth as Karl and Steve; and James Cahill as Kenneth.
General admission is $10, $5 for students and seniors and free for all Wilkes students, faculty and staff with ID. Parking is available at the Henry Student Center along with handicapped accessible options. For more information, please call the box office at 570-408-4540.
Photo: Tensions are high in Wilkes University’s production of Clybourne Park. From left, clockwise: Melissa Beradelli, Marcy Ledvinka, and Joshua Shepard.