October 6, 2017 Stephen Brinkerhoff
Auditions for IUPUI’s Spring 2018 play, Clybourne Park, will take place Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.and Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Cavanaugh Hall Room 003.
Clybourne Park is a continuation of the play Raisin in the Sun, both of which feature themes of race, family and gentrification between two time periods set 50 years apart.
Two acts make up the play, the first being set in 1959, where the protagonists of Raisin in the Sun, the Youngers, an African American family, move into a predominantly white neighborhood, Clybourne Park.
The second act flips this in 2009, where a new set of protagonists, a white couple, move into the same neighborhood, but now predominantly African American.
Each actor will portray two different characters between the two acts, essentially switching roles as the first act goes into the second.
The play is written Bruce Norris, which premiered on Broadway in April 2012 and won both the Tony Award for Best Play in 2012 and Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2011.
“I chose Norris’s spiky drama because it is a beautiful and smart piece about a community in North America,” Kate Buis, the director of the play, said.
Buis is a professor at IUPUI who has been involved with the school’s theater program since January of 2013.
“I was offered this opportunity and I readily accepted [it], because I think that live performances about things that matter is a really significant and generative way to spend time.”
Fifteen roles are available in the play, six for women and nine for men.
“As the director, if I can get a feel for a person and how they respond to working in a group, etc. I can tell if they will be a good fit for a role.”
Rehearsals will begin once classes return from winter break and will continue until the play premieres in April.
“The last week of rehearsals, tech week, will be intensive.”
The auditions have already spiked the interest of some students, including Larrone Johnson.
“I’ve always been interested in theater, it’s never really been available to me,” Johnson said. “Or I wasn’t willing to pursue it at the time.”
Johnson is a senior majoring in sports management and is a transfer student from Ivy Tech. This will be his first time auditioning for a play.
“Now, this is my second time around in college, so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot just because it’s always been on my mind.”
The auditions will consist of cold readings involving groups of two to five. Instead of call-backs, Buis will post the cast list after the auditions “ASAP.”
”Whichever one that they think I fit in would be awesome, I would just love to be involved in the play, period.”
“This play gets us talking again about how casual our communities are about these issues,” Buis said. “It’s brilliant and poignant and really, really relevant to our lives today.”
“I’ve never personally had any problem with anybody or had any issues with anybody living in any type of area,” Johnson said. “But I definitely do think it’s still a hot topic for some people who aren’t as diverse in some neighborhoods.”
“Please involve yourself in this wonderful show, whether by attending, acting, crew, etc,” Buis said. “This is an important work.”
“I really am nervous,” Johnson said. “But I’m also very excited as well.”
Clybourne Park will premiere on Apr. 13 and will continue through the 15.