Footlight Club’s ‘Clybourne Park’ Builds Off Famed ‘A Raisin in the Sun’

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The Footlight Club's current show is Clybourne Park , the Pulitzer Prize winning play that was spun out of Lorraine Hansberry's classic play A Raisin in the Sun.

Actors Chris Erath and Jennifer Bean star in The Footlight Club's Clybourne Park. (Photo courtesy Matt McKee)

Bruce Norris' 2010 play was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2011, and Tony Award for Best Play in 2012.

The play occurs during and after Hansberry's play, and is loosely based on historical events that took place in Chicago.

In 1959 white community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. In the next act the play is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles gentrification.

Chris Erath and Jennifer Bean play Russ and Bev, who are a complicated couple. On first glance they seem like a 1950s sitcom with banter and gentle jabs at each other. But under the surface is Russ' rage and Bev deals in denial.

Renée Singletary plays two characters, including Lena, who is fighting for her community and her history, is bright and quick-witted. The character speaks to Singletary in a personal manner.

Renee Singletary plays Lena (Photo by Matt McKee)

"I identify most with Lena. I grew up in Roxbury and it has changed so much," said Singletary on Footlight's Facebook page. "The changes really make me sad because the people who fought to make Roxbury feel more like home, like my parents and neighbors, can’t even enjoy those changes because Roxbury is no longer home. Those changes were never meant for them to enjoy."

Clybourne Park is being performed at The Footlight Club on Feb. 28, 29, March 1, 6 and 7. Click here for more info, tickets and showtimes.

Photos provided by Liz Bean for The Footlight Club

Chris Erath as Russ, Stephen Grigelevich as Jim, Jennifer Bean as Bev (1959)

Stephen Grigelevich as Jim, Jennifer Bean as Bev (1959)

Chris Erath as Russ, Stephen Grigelevich as Jim, Jennifer Bean as Bev, Maryanne Truax as Betsy, Bill Stambaugh as Karl (1959)

The aftermath (Jennifer Bean as Bev, Tim Joseph as Albert)

The cast in 2009: Maryanne Truax as Lindsey, Bill Stambaugh as Steve, Jennifer Bean as Kathy, Stephen Grigelevich as Tom, Renée Singletary as Lena, Tim Joseph as Kevin (2009)

Stephen Grigelevich as Tom, Renée Singletary as Lena, Tim Joseph as Kevin (2009)

Bill Stambaugh as Steve, Maryanne as Truax as Lindsey, Chris Erath as Dan, Stephen Grigelevich as Tom, Renée Singletary as Lena, Jennifer Bean as Bev, Tim Joseph as Kevin (2009)

Epilogue 2 – Jennifer Bean as Bev, Stephen Grigelevich as Kenneth (2009)

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