SYNOPSIS: Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Clybourne Park uses Lorraine Hansbury’s landmark drama A Raisin in the Sun as its jumping-off point. The first act takes place in 1959, and is told from the point of view of the white family that is about to sell its home to the first black family to move into a Chicago neighborhood. The second act takes place 50 years later; the neighborhood has become all-black and now a white couple wants to buy the house and move into the neighborhood. The play takes a fascinating look at how we talk about—or avoid talking about—race in America.
LANGUAGE: The play contains a significant amount of strong language, including both profanities and strong vulgarities. In addition, in the climactic scene, several deliberately offensive racist and sexist jokes are told, in one of which an extremely derogatory vulgar slang expression for women is used.
These words and phrases include “go fuck yourself,” (a number of times), “Goddamn,” “Jesus Christ,” “son-of-a-bitch,” “shit” and “bullshit,” “pussy,” “asshole,” “bitch,” and “cunt.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: None.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Clybourne Park is suitable for more adventurous audiences for whom strong language is not discomfiting. Conservative audience members will likely be offended by the language and uncomfortable with the subject matter. The play would be of interest for teenaged children, but parents should be strongly cautioned before sending their children. The play is inappropriate for pre-teens.
RATING: If it were a movie, Clybourne Park would be rated “R” for strong language.