Open auditions for FPT’s production of Clybourne Park will be held on Sunday, February 26, at 5:00 PM! The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play is a razor-sharp satire about the politics of race and gentrification. Two scenes, set fifty years apart, are both set in the same modest bungalow on Chicago’s northwest side. In both instances, a community showdown takes place, pitting race against real estate with this home as the battle ground.
Clybourne Park unfolds in two acts in the house made famous in Lorraine Hansberry’s classic “A Raisin in the Sun.” In Act I, a white community in 1959 Chicago splinters over a black family about to move into the house. Act II leaps forward to 2009, where a white couple seeks to purchase the same house in the now predominantly black neighborhood. Norris’ play explores issues of race, territory, and legacy with an uncommon combination of biting humor and genuine tenderness, treading the rich and illuminating ground of both comedy and drama.

Most actors for the production will play two roles (as is intended by the author) .

Character Breakdown:

Russ (Act I)/ Dan (Act II): Caucasian male, 45-55. In Act I, a middle-management businessman selling his house to escape memories of a family tragedy. In Act II, a friendly but somewhat oblivious construction worker.

Bev (Act I)/ Kathy (Act II): Caucasian female, 40s. Married to Russ, whose brooding is eroding her natural optimism. In Act II, a breezy real estate agent and lawyer.

Francine (Act I)/ Lena (Act II): African American female, 30s-40s. A stoic and polite domestic worker to Russ and Bev in Act I. In Act II, a no-nonsense professional woman invested in her neighborhood and fiercely opposed to white gentrification.

Albert (Act I)/ Kevin (Act II): African American male, 30s-40s. As husband to Francine in Act I, he is accommodating but a shrewd judge of character. In Act II, an easy-going investment banker married to Lena.

Karl (Act I)/ Steve (Act II): Caucasian male, late 30s-40s. In Act I, a character borrowed from “A Raisin in the Sun” who comes to persuade Russ and Bev not to sell their house to a “colored family.” In Act II, a well-educated man, but not exactly a diplomatic one. He’s seeking to purchase the home in the now-black neighborhood.

Betsy (Act I)/ Lindsey (Act II): Caucasian female, late 20s– 30s. Married to Karl and seven months pregnant in Act I. Betsy is deaf but does speak, although her speech is difficult to understand. In Act II, a professional woman, also pregnant, who is married to Steve.

Jim (Act I)/ Tom (Act II): Caucasian male, mid-20s – 30s. The well-intentioned minister at Russ and Bev’s church in Act I. In Act II, a lawyer hired by Kevin and Lena to represent their community association in negotiations with Steve and Lindsey. Tom is smart and good at his job but in a hurry.

Kenneth: Caucasian male, 20s. Russ and Bev’s son who has come home after service in the Korean war. Kenneth appears only briefly in a flashback at the end of Act II. He is sometimes played by the actor playing Jim/Tom.

Click here for the open audition sign up!


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