Bradley University play dramatizes changes in American cities over past decades

By WEEK Producer

February 23, 2014 Updated Feb 23, 2014 at 11:49 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- As we wind down Black History month, there is piqued interest in a theater production at Bradley University. It's called 'Clybourne Park', and it dramatizes the many changes American cities went through over the past five decades. The play is both entertaining and educational.

Imagine you see yourself on stage honestly sharing your prejudices, your hang ups, the off color jokes you tell, and more.

"What I like about this play is that no one's perspective is the right one," said Clybourne Park actress Kiayla Jackson.

This is more than a sequel to the 1959 Broadway classic 'A Raisin in the Sun'. Clybourne Park earned playwright Bruce Norris a Pulitzer in 2009 and pushes the envelope in dramatic fashion.

"Clybourne Park? Honey, who is it we do not insult? (laugh) It used to be us and them in '59, but the us-ness and the them-ness has changed so much, said director of Clybourne Park Egla Hassan.

"To say that racism is disbanded is completely false. It makes you think and it makes you feel about what you're saying to people," said Clybourne Park actor Peyton McDermott.

After the family in A Raisin In the Sun moves into an all white neighborhood, the neighborhood changes. It becomes all black, and then gentrification fifty years later. Whites move back in. So, who's the bad guy?"

"In this, we all are the bad guy," said Hassan.

"All the crap kinda hits the fan. People say what they wanna say," said Clybourne Park actress Katey Kramer.

Clybourne Park hits the stage this Thursday and runs for two weekends. For ticket information, call 677-2650.

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