Strand Theatre to host ‘Two Plays, One House”

Tayla Holman, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 7, 2013

The Strand Theatre will host a special free performance this month that will blend scenes from two plays that are being staged this year in Boston.

On February 20 at 7 p.m., the Huntington Theatre Company and SpeakEasy Stage Company will perform “Two Plays, One House: A Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park.” Actors will be performing a few scenes from each play, which will then be followed by a Q&A and a chance to win tickets to the individual plays.
“Two Plays, One House” will be hosted by WCVB-TV’s Karen Holmes Ward.

“When you look at the themes of the play – gentrification, housing, ethnicity – Uphams Corner is really a place where a lot of that resonates,” said Christopher Cook, director of the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events. “The Strand is a beautiful fit to some of the complicated themes in both plays.”

Cook said it was a “unique opportunity” to have the performance held at The Strand and that both Huntington Theatre Company and SpeakEasy Stage Company would get to know Dorchester.

“I think Ward is a great person to have moderating these kinds of conversations,” said Cook. “She’s good at talking about what’s happening in a place and what it means to Boston.”

Clybourne Park picks up where Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun left off. Written in 2010 in response to the seminal play, Clybourne Park follows a couple named Bev and Russ as they try to sell their home in the titular white middle-class neighborhood. Bev and Russ are informed that the family buying their home is black, and they are encouraged not to sell it for fear that property values in the neighborhood will drop. The family to whom Bev and Russ are selling their home are the Youngers, the protagonists of A Raisin in the Sun.

Clybourne Park runs from March 1 to March 30 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. A Raisin in the Sun runs from March 8 to April 7 at the BU Theatre.

The Strand Theatre will also host two free performances of the Boston Ballet on Feb. 15. A Boston Public Schools performance will be staged at 11 a.m. and a general admission performance at 7 p.m. Both performances are free and open to the public.