Performance of "Clybourne Park" Explores Racial and Class Change in Urban Neighborhoods

Many of you in the UC History Community may find this play and discussion forum of particular interest as it explores racial and class change in an urban neighborhood that closely parallels similar changes in neighborhoods in Cincinnati both in the past and the present.

As many of you know, tumultuous neighborhood racial change occurred in Cincinnati and elsewhere during the 1950s and 1960s. Now, whites are beginning to move back into some of these neighborhoods, ones that have been largely black since the middle of last century. The best known of these is Over-the-Rhine, of course, but less well-known is that this is occurring in other neighborhoods in the city.

The play, Clybourne Park raises questions about how we might respond to such changes in our own neighborhoods and the forum sponsored by Housing Opportunities Made Equal and the U.C. Sociology Department provides a place to discuss these issues with Kathryne Gardette, a longtime Cincinnati activist and currently president of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation; Jeffrey Timberlake, a UC sociologist who is an expert on race and residence; and Timothy Douglas, the director of the play.

Playhouse in the Park is performing Clybourne Park  Jan. 18 - Feb. 16, 2014.  Called “ferociously smart” by The New York Times and “uproariously funny” by Entertainment Weekly, Clybourne Park is one of the most acclaimed plays of the decade — winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play. The play is a spin-off of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic “A Raisin in the Sun.” In two acts set 50 years apart, the same Chicago bungalow sits at a volatile intersection of race and real estate, initially in 1959 with its sale to the neighborhood’s first black family and then in 2009 during the first wave of role-reversing gentrification.

Click here for the flyer for the performances.