Trustus Theatre is bringing Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize, Tony, and Olivier Award-winning comedy Clybourne Park to the Thigpen Main Stage. This show, a response to Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, is a provocative and humorous look at racial relations and reactions in America. Clybourne Park is directed by award-winning guest director Jim O’Connor, and opens on the Thigpen Main Stage Friday January 24th at 8:00pm. The show runs through February 8th, 2014. Tickets may be purchased at www.trustus.org.
Clybourne Park explodes on to the Main Stage in two outrageous acts set fifty years apart. Act I takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act II is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification. A wonderfully well-crafted script that received all of the top theatrical honors, Clybourne Park intriguingly explores conflicting aspects of the American experience.
Much of director Jim O’Connor’s theatrical career and life has been spent addressing social issues ranging from Apartheid, sexual equality and harassment, social order and responsibility, and American values. “I was elated when Trustus offered me this script,” said O’Connor. “This script is such a direct, powerful, and humorous chance to direct another piece dealing with the world of prejudice and racial relationships. Clybourne Park furnishes a delightful and meaningful evening in the theatre, but also offers the audience something to think about later as well. It can be used as a guide in our everyday lives.”
O’Connor has assembled a strong ensemble cast for this daring production. Trustus Company members G. Scott Wild (Ragtime), Rachel Kuhnle (Pine), and Venus in Fur’s Bobby Bloom (2013 Jasper Artist of the Year in Theatre Finalist) are returning to the Thigpen Main Stage. Joining them are USC theatre professor Erica Tobolski (Good People) and A Christmas Carol’s Wela Mbusi, who has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the U.K. Making their Trustus debuts and rounding out the cast are Erika Wright, Bryan Bender, and Lucas Bender.
Popular local artist Christian Thee is designing the scenic elements of Clybourne Park, where the house on stage must magically transform and age 50 years over the course of intermission. Thee is bringing his mastery of trompe l'oeil (“fool the eye”) art and design to the set in order to make the illusion of age and transformation come to life for the audience.
“Beyond its well deserved pedigree with a Pulitzer Prize and an Olivier Award, this script demands attention because of its subject matter,” said Director Jim O’Connor. “This script is unique because of the wonderfully creative form and ability to make its point through laugh out loud characters, situations and lines. All one has to do is read a daily newspaper to find the relevance of racial harmony or disharmony in 2014. There continue to be cases in the Supreme Court, battles in Congress and, conflicts in daily life based on when and how different races will ever manage to get together and shed traces of prejudices.”
There will be a talk-back following the show on February 2nd. The panel will consist of, photographer Vennie Deas Moore who is currently documenting growth in downtown Columbia from 1920 to 1950, Tige Watts who is currently President of the National Council of Neighborhoods, Julia Prater who is deputy director of the Columbia Housing Authority, the cast, and the director Jim O’Connor.
Trustus Theatre’s Clybourne Park opens on the Trustus Main Stage on Friday, January 24th at 8:00pm and runs through February 8th, 2014. Thigpen Main Stage shows start at 8:00pm Thursdays through Saturdays, Saturday matinees are at 2pm, and Sunday matinees are at 3:00pm. There will not be a matinee performance on January 26. Tickets are $22.00 for adults, $20.00 for military and seniors, and $15.00 for students. Half-price Student Rush-Tickets are available 15 minutes prior to curtain.
Trustus Theatre is located at 520 Lady Street, behind the Gervais St. Publix. Parking is available on Lady St. and on Pulaski St. The Main Stage entrance is located on the Publix side of the building.
For more information or reservations call the box office Tuesdays through Saturdays 1-6 pm at 803-254-9732. Visit www.trustus.org for all show information and season information.