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"Clybourne Park" Summary of Act One

By January 30, 2013

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Act One of Clybourne Park takes place in 1959, in the home of Bev and Russ, a middle aged couple who are preparing to move to a new neighborhood. They bicker (sometimes playfully, sometimes with underlying hostility) about various national capitals and origin of Neapolitan ice cream. Tensions mount when Jim, the local minister, stops by for a chat. Jim hopes for a chance to discuss Russ' feelings. We learn that their adult son committed suicide after returning from the Korean War.

When the neighbor Karl Lindner arrives, he drops a bombshell: The family that plans to move in to Bev and Russ' home is "colored." from their, the arguments ignite and each character's prejudice is revealed. Learn more about this controversial comedy about race and real estate.



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