This past week, I had the opportunity to view a performance of the play “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris, as it was performed by some students of Loyola. Because I read the play over the summer, I was already aware of the play’s themes and premise. However, seeing the play performed was a much different experience, one that I would consider to be positive and interesting, compared to simply reading the script.

Plays are meant to be performed, and after first reading this play and then seeing it in action, it is clear this statement held especially true for “Clybourne Park”. I believe reading the play prior to seeing it on stage helped me in following the scenes being acted out on stage more easily. I’m not so sure I would have understood the content or picked up on the themes as much if I had no knowledge of the plot of the play beforehand. Another aspect of the performed version of the play that I appreciated was the fact that, no matter how I imagined the characters as I read the play, I could truly see the characters and their emotions behind their lines really come to life on stage, which also helped me to absorb the significance of several themes.

Overall, going to see the play was a very enjoyable experience. It was amazing to see the actors deliver the numerous complicated, complex lines and dialogues. Most especially, I liked hearing and seeing the delivery of lines of characters that were overlapping or spoken at the same time as one another— something that was harder to follow when it was just text on a page. I would say seeing the show, rather than just reading it, really helped me to experience it and its overall themes, messages, emotions, jokes, and more serious conflicts in their entirety.

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