Monday, November 12, 2012

A Charlottesville Treasure: Live Arts

A non-legal post today to give a shout-out to our neighbor on the south end of Second Street, Live Arts.

Live Arts is a theater and performing arts venue founded in 1990.  This weekend I went to their production of Clybourne Park, and it was terrific.


Clybourne Park, by Bruce Norris, won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama last year. It's a re-visiting of the issues of race, neighborhood, and community that were raised by Lorraine Hansberry in A Raisin in the Sun. 

The twist is that, during the 50 years since Hansberry's play (and the first act of Clybourne), gentrification has reared its head, turning the racial politics of the first play somewhat on their head.

Questions about gentrification are germane to Charlottesville, and Norris's script is insightful and provocative.

I particularly enjoyed that one of the characters is a real estate lawyer who's trying to "close the deal."


The cast and producers at Live Arts did a brilliant job with this play.  The actors vividly captured the difficulty of communicating about difficult issues. They used comedy as a means of revealing
and challenging the variety of ways that people continue to rely on racial stereotypes.

And I loved the intimacy of the production, with the seats right-there next to the stage.
If you are getting excited to go see Clybourne Park, I am sorry to report that Saturday was the final performance.

Not to worry: Live Arts has some great stuff on their upcoming schedule (the website is here), and I highly recommend checking out one of their productions if you have the chance.