Welcome to the first installment of our Q&A featuring the cast and crew of Redwood Curtain’s production of Clybourne Park, written by Bruce Norris. To kick things off we’re featuring director James Floss and stage manager Heidi Voelker.
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
April 30 to May 23
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm. Sunday matinee on May 17 at 2pm.
Directed by James Floss
Clybourne Park explodes in two outrageous acts set fifty years apart. Act One takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning comedy is savagely funny and insightful.
“Vital, sharp-witted and ferociously smart.” – NY Times
What was your last time working with Redwood Curtain?
James: Directing The Language Archive by Julia Cho
Heidi: This is my fourth show stage managing at RCT. The last one was Making God Laugh last year.
What drew you to Clybourne Park?
James: I was a huge fan of A Raisin in the Sun since studying it in high school. When I first read Clybourne Park, not a news day went by without major articles about racial inequities, institutional racism, and the plight of young black men in the country. The play’s themes resonated with me and the writing is sharp, fast-paced and wickedly funny and provocative.
Heidi: [RCT Executive Director] Peggy [Metzger] asked me if I was available to stage manage this production earlier this spring. When I read the script I started looking forward to it. The script is really well written.
Are there any particular challenges in this show you’re looking forward to tackling?
James: Yes! Traveling fifty into the future during a fifteen minute intermission. As mentioned, the dialog is fast-paced and overlapping. We have to figure out the “jazz” of that.
Heidi: This show jumps fifty years during intermission, a change that will take some work. But I’m looking forward to seeing how we make it come together and fit within the timeframe.
What do you hope audiences come away with at the end of the show?
James: I want the audience to be challenged while being entertained; I want them to laugh and at the same feel uneasy about that they are laughing at.
Heidi: I hope this show makes audiences think, and hopefully discuss their own experiences with race. It is easy to just decide that we are a liberal community and therefore have no issues with race, but the truth is a bit more complex than that and the first step is realizing the problems.