The United States in the 1950’s was booming; a booming economy, booming suburbs, and even the infamous “baby boom” all of which came after the end of World War II. However, the 1950’s was also a time of civil rights movements where African American people were speaking up and protesting for their rights, yet life for the them was still not easy. The Younger family, the main characters of the play, end up facing their own share of racism living in the Chicago slums.
I remember arriving at the theater a few minutes late and slipping into my seat around 2:05pm, however thankfully the stage was still dark. I wasn’t too far away from the stage, maybe 5 or 6 rows back, which was definitely helpful, as I could see everything on the stage at an up close view. Being that this was my first real, live performance play, I was definitely a bit nervous and sort of anxious not really sure what to expect. I remember just looking around and seeing a lot of smiling people laughing, talking, and waiting for the play to begin…just like me.
The play opened up with the Younger family expecting a check in the mail of $10,000; a check that came from the insurance policy of Mr. Younger, who had recently died. Each member of the family had an idea of what they wanted to do with the money, although the money really belonged to Lena, the matriarch of the family. Lena Younger (the old, now single mother of Benny and Walter Lee) wanted to use the money to put a down payment on a house that she felt was more affordable and a lot better than the old 3 bedroom apartment they were currently living in. However, the house that she wanted to buy just so happened to be in the all white neighborhood of Clybourne Park. As the play progresses, Mama (Lena) ends up using some of the money to put a down payment on the house in Clybourne Park, however after seeing the way Walter Lee had recently been drinking away his pain and always talking about the success of the “white man” from their investments, she ends up crying and giving Walter Lee the remaining $6,500 to put some money in Benny’s medical school account, but then to use the rest to invest in his liquor store. The acting in this scene was especially phenomenal, and for me it was one of the most moving scenes in the play.
The play continued and after about Act Two, there was a little 15 minute intermission where people could stretch or get up to use the bathroom. I remember just sitting back and thinking “wow”. The play wasn’t even...