Mars Hill Theatre Arts Department Brings Clybourne Park to the Stage

Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris is sure to instigate much debate on social issues, past and present.

Only one play in history has received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Broadway’s Tony Award for Best Play, and London’s Olivier Award for Best New Play. Securing the “Triple Crown” of theatre has made Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park one of the most acclaimed American plays in recent memory, earning accolades from many diverse critics. The Pulitzer Prize jury described Clybourne Park as “a powerful work whose memorable characters speak in witty and perceptive ways to America’s sometimes toxic struggles with race and class consciousness.”

Tackling the timely issues of race and real estate with biting humor, Clybourne Park covers subjects particularly relevant and important to society today. The play is Norris’ modern answer to Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and takes place in the same fictional neighborhood the Younger family moves to at the end of that classic play.

The first act of Clybourne Park is set in 1959 where a white couple has unknowingly sold their home to a black family, causing an uproar in their all-white neighborhood. Act Two fast forwards 50 years to 2009 when a young white couple buys the same house with plans to rebuild and gentrify their piece of the predominantly black, but changing, neighborhood. Although taking place 50 years apart, both acts devolve from conversations rooted in political correctness to emotion fueled debates hilariously highlighting the way we talk, or don’t talk, about hot-button subjects.

Bruce Norris says, “Clybourne Park is not just about racial conflict, but about clannishness and how we divide ourselves up into clans of people when our territory is threatened, because literally, that’s what happens in the play, is that there’s a territorial dispute over a piece of property.”

“The award-winning Clybourne Park is a play that will challenge our students and our audiences. It’s about relationships in the home and in the community and what threatens the tribal status quo,” states Director Callan White-Hinman. “As thoughtful as it is challenging, we believe the play will inspire invigorating discussions about change, opportunity and the future of our local and global neighborhoods. Mars Hill University Theatre Arts Department will host post-show discussions after every performance, moderated by the MHU Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and members of the cast.”

Performances of Clybourne Park take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday through Saturday, October 18-19, 2019, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, October 20, 2019. Also included in the performance schedule is a school matinee October 18th at 9:30 a.m. All performances are in the Owen Theatre on the campus of Mars Hill University. Clybourne Park is best enjoyed by adults due to its adult language and mature themes.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students with identification, free for Mars Hill University students and staff. For more information, contact the box office at (828) 689-1377 or at



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