1/29/2015 - 2/15/2015
Running Jan. 29 to Feb. 15, 2015
Thursdays — Jan. 29, Feb. 5 and 12 — at 7:30 p.m.
Fridays — Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and 13 — at 8 p.m.
Saturdays — Jan. 31, Feb. 7 and 14 — at 8 p.m.
Sundays — Feb. 1, 8 and 15 — at 2:30 p.m.
PLUS Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.
A drama by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Jimmie Woody
Set during the early 1950s, A Raisin in the Sun tells the timeless story of one family’s grasp for a piece of the American Dream — and the explosive backlash that erupts when they seek to become the first black family to move into an all-white neighborhood.
Presented with support from
The play revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Youngers, a black family living in a cramped apartment in Chicago’s racially segregated Southside neighborhood. The family’s struggle for dignity and their quest for a better life shape the powerful drama in this ground-breaking masterpiece of the American theater.
Younger family matriarch Lena (whom everyone calls “Mama”) is the strong, moral heart of her clan, but she clashes frequently with her extended family. The family’s “man of the house” is her son Walter Lee, who works as a chauffeur but remains frustrated by his dead-end position in both life and the workplace. Walter’s wife is Ruth, who masks her discontent by directing all her energies toward her husband and their young son, Travis. Walter’s sister, Beneatha, is a young dreamer who dabbles in various hobbies and activities but embraces a strong desire to become a doctor.
When the insurance money from her deceased husband’s insurance policy comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood. But Walter Lee, who describes himself as a volcano full of internalized regrets and pipe dreams, has other plans: he wants to buy a liquor store and be “his own man.” Meanwhile, Beneatha wants to spend the money on her medical schooling. The tensions within the family and the blatant prejudice they receive from outside their home combine to shape the rich dramatic texture in this seminal American play.
Originally produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway, where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. The Washington Post has called it “one of a handful of great American dramas. A Raisin in the Sun belongs in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman and Long Day’s Journey into Night.” The New York Times has hailed it as “the play that changed American theatre forever.”
BRIAN KENNETH ARMOUR
Walter Lee Younger
THE CREATIVE TEAM
JASEN J. SMITH
Scenic Co-Designer and Assistant Technical Director