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Monday, September 15, 2014

‘Clybourne Park’ to open Chatham Community Players 93rd season

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The Chatham Community Players begins its 93rd Season of producing local theater with Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winning play, Clybourne Park. This play will run from Oct 3 through Oct 18. John A.C. Kennedy from Springfield directs.

Winner of both the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, in addition to the Olivier Award and the Evening Standard Award, Clybourne Park is a response to Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun". The first Act, set in 1959, is from the perspective of a white family moving out of the neighborhood, and the neighbors' concerns regarding a black family moving in. The second Act takes place 50 years later, during which time the Clybourne Park neighborhood has changed significantly, and a white family has decided to move into the house.

Hailed by The New York Times as a "strong, ferociously smart play", it is both funny and provocative in dealing with issues of race and real estate. Director, John A.C. Kennedy shared, “When I first read the script, I was struck by the opportunities presented by the extraordinarily smart dialogue and powerful dramatic dynamic. Norris thrusts onstage together seven strong characters, all good people who are at points of crisis in their lives, and all needing to accomplish goals that are at conflict with each other. The fact that he does it again in Act II with seven different characters, portrayed by the same seven actors, 50 years later just makes it twice as remarkable.”

This character driven play invites you to observe the actions and reactions, resulting in numerous unsettling moments. In a description of the characters, Playwright, Bruce Norris, said, “It was very important to me to depict the people in 1959 as people with good intentions. They’re not racists in the KKK way — they’re people who think that they’re doing the right thing to protect their neighborhood and their children and their real estate values. But that’s a form of self-interest that has, as its unfortunate byproduct, a really racist outcome.”

Featuring a talented and diverse group of actors from all around New Jersey. The cast includes Peter Horn from Westfield as Karl/Tom, Gloria Lamoureaux from Succasunna as Bev/Kathy, Christine Laydon from Bloomfield as Betsy/Lindsey, Scott Tyler from Cedar Knolls as Jim/Steve, Gordon Wiener from Martinsville as Russ/Dan, Tasha R. Williams from Belleville as Francine/Lena and Brandon A. Wright from Newark as Albert/Kevin.

“We hesitated to even choose this show, Not only does it pose extraordinary technical demands, it requires seven strong, versatile actors who are not afraid to tackle some very touchy subjects. But great writing brings out the great talent and we saw an enormous amount of talent. Casting became less about the abilities for the actors and more about the chemistry of this ensemble. This cast is dynamite,” said Producer, Leslie Reagoso.

Rounding out Kennedy’s talented production team, the Producer is Leslie Reagoso, Stage Manager is Allison Shearman, Scenic Designer is Roy Pancirov, Scenic Painting by Andrea Sickler, Costume Designer is Beverly Wand, Lighting Designer is Richard Hennessy and Sound Designer is Joe DeVico.

Director, Kennedy explains, “Both Acts touch on things we often think about, but seldom talk about, particularly across the racial divide. Clybourne Park is a gripping battle of wills with some extraordinarily funny moments. If I do my job right, audiences will be shocked by what they find themselveslaughing at.”

Box Office Information – Online Ticketing

Performance dates are October 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 8pm and October 12 at 3pm. All performances are at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham. Tickets are $25 for adults and $23 for youth/senior. Warning: Strong language and mature subject matter.

Tickets can be purchased at our Box Office or Online. To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply go to ccp.ticketleap.com. The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance. Chatham Playhouse’s box office will begin accepting phone reservations on September 23 at (973) 635-7363. For information regarding box office hours, please call the box office number listed above.

About the Chatham Playhouse

The Chatham Community Players has been entertaining residents of Morris County and the surrounding area since 1922. The organization’s mission is to produce high-quality theater for a diverse audience, while elevating its standard of excellence and providing a creative outlet with educational opportunities and outreach programs. For more information, including details of CCP’s 2014-2015 season, visit www.chathamplayers.org.

Photo:L-R  Christine Laydon as Betsy/Lindsey, Scott Tyler as Jim/Steve, Gloria Lamoureaux as Bev/Kathy, Tasha R. Williamsas Francine/Lena and Peter Horn as Karl/Tom. Credit: Howard Fisher

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