One of the lasting effects, for me, of working on a number of AugustWilson’s plays several seasons back is a greater appreciation for who and what has come before me. As a historian by training and a dramaturg by practice, I was always aware of the importance of precedence, but now I try to take a little more time to acknowledgethe street or building named after a person, for example – he or shemust have done something of some importance in order to earn sucha distinction. It deserves, at the very least, my passing respect. And so it is with neighborhoods, too. They were not always as theyare now – they had a history. And another history before that. Suchis the story with
,as one group of people gives wayto another and the story of the area changes These stories are allaround us. Several years ago, I owned a house in the South Wedgearea of Rochester. In living there for a decade, I came to understandthat it had only recently emerged from a period of crime, blight, anddepression, and was just beginning a new chapter in its longhistory. I am about to begin work as a dramaturg on a story set, in part, in the Corn Hill district and will, no doubt, learn more aboutthe area than I could have ever imagined.Your students, though they may argue otherwise, are steeped inhistory, whether they are surrounded by houses built in the 1800s or live in a brand-new subdivision. Every neighborhood is ClybournePark in one way or another. We just need to make the effort todiscover how and why.Thank you for deciding to bring your students to see
. It will, we’re sure, be an experience that they’ll remember for a very long time.Sincerely,Eric EvansEducation Administrator email@example.com(585) 420-2035
Table of Contents
. . . . . . . . 2From thePlaywright. . . . 3The
Conversation. . 4Confronting theUnfamiliar.. . . . 5The Identityof aNeighborhood. 6The Satireof
.. . . . . . . 7The Fine Printof PrivateProperty. . . . . 8The ChangingLandscape of Real Estatein Rochester. . 8When the Set isa Character. . . 9Resources. . . 10
WARNING: Strong languageand mature subject matter.Approachingcontemporaryissues of race,class andcommunitythrough satire iscomplicated andintentionallyprovocative.
encouragesaudience membersto questionsocietal attitudesand examine their own positionsand actionsthrough a styleof humor thatcan be bothunsettling anduncomfortable.It is highlyrecommendedthat all educators take theopportunity toread the scriptof
prior toattending withtheir students.If you havequestions orconcerns aboutthe content of the play or wouldlike to requestan electronicreading copy,please do nothesitate tocontact theeducationdepartment.
“But that’s nice, isn’t it, in a way? To know that we all have our place.” – Bev
Cover images:Scenic designer Skip Mercier’s modelsfor
in Act I (top) and Act II (bottom).
Participation in this production and supplementalactivities suggested in this guide support thefollowing NYS Learning Standards:A: 2, 3, 4; ELA: 1, 2, 3, 4; SS: 1, 2, 3, 4