Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean, will present the New Jersey Premiere of Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris from July 11th through July 29th in Kean's Zella Fry Theatre. Directed by Wes Grantom, this Tony Award-winning play is an exceptionally witty and deliciously dry satire that explores the reactions of Clybourne Park’s 1950s all-white community when a couple unknowingly sells their house to a black family. The tables of gentrification turn when - fifty years later - the now all-black community greets the news of an impending sale to a white family with the same level of apprehension.
Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece A Raisin in the Sun served as the inspiration for Clybourne Park and Premiere Stages will offer a free screening of the film to all ticket buyers as a preview to the production. The screening will take place on Saturday, July 6th at 3 pm in the STEM Building Auditorium. For information or to reserve tickets for the screening, please call 908-737-4092.
Playwright Bruce Norris is a graduate of Northwestern University, and has long been associated with the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago, where a number of his plays have received their World Premieres. He is a recipient of the Steinberg Playwright Award, and has been awarded the Olivier Award for Best New Play, the Tony Award for Best Play, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Premiere’s production will be helmed by director Wes Grantom, a co-founder of Slant Theatre Project in New York, for whom he recently directed The Steadfast at the Barrow Group Theatre. Grantom’s extensive associate directing credits include the current musical adaptation of Little Miss Sunshine by James Lapine and William Finn, as well as the Broadway revivals of Waiting for Godot and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Roundabout Theatre Company).
Clybourne Park will feature Frank Deal as Russ/Dan and Kate Goehring as Bev/Kathy. Deal (pictured right with with Samuel Stricklen) recently appeared on Broadway in August: Osage County; Goehring originated the role of Harper Pitt in the National Tour of Angels in America. Premiere’s cast also features Tim McGeever (Karl/Steve), who recently appeared in Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of Clybourne Park; Danielle Slavick (Betsy/Lindsey), seen in Adam Rapp’s Through the Yellow Hour at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Samuel Stricklen (Albert/Kevin), whose distinguished regional credits include the Old Globe; Brett Robinson (Francine/Lena), who appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Actors Theatre of Louisville; and Dustin Fontaine (Jim/Tom/Kenneth), who played Rodrigo in Lulu at New York’s Riverside Theatre.
Premiere Stages will partner with The American Conference on Diversity for this production. Founded in 1948, the Conference is one of the leading human relations organizations in New Jersey. The organization's goal is to create a positive, inclusive society by educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing New Jersey workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. Renee Ayers, Director of Professional Development at The American Conference on Diversity, will join Resident Dramaturg Clare Drobot in creating a customized talk-back program following the Sunday matinees on July 14th and July 21st. The talk-backs will focus on issues of both racism and gentrification. Admission to both post-show talk-backs is included with the purchase of a ticket to either Sunday performance. For more information on The American Conference on Diversity, please visit their website at http://americanconferenceondiversity.org.
Clybourne Park runs Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $30 standard, $20 senior citizen, and $15 student. Significant discounts for groups of 10 or more apply. To make reservations or to order a season brochure, please call the Kean Stage Box Office at 908-737-SHOW (7469) or visit Premiere online at www.kean.edu/premierestages.
Above left: Director Wes Grantom and the cast of Premiere Stages' production of Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. Top: Brett Robinson, Frank Deal and Tim McGeever in rehearsal. Photos by Taylor Crichton Photography.