'Always Something Left to Love...' Meet the Full Company of A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Beginning Tomorrow on Broadway!
Previews begin tomorrow night, Saturday, March 8, for the return to Broadway of Tony Award-winner and two-time Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington, starring as Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. This new production begins previews nearly 55 years to the day that A Raisin in the Sun had its Broadway premiere (March 11, 1959) at the same theatre, the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street). Scroll down to learn more about the cast!
The production also stars LaTanya Richardson Jackson as Lena Younger, Academy Award-nominee Sophie Okonedo making her Broadway debut as Ruth Younger, Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose as Beneatha Younger, Tony Award-nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson as Bobo, David Cromer as Karl Lindner,Jason Dirden as George Murchison, Sean Patrick Thomas as Joseph Asagai, and 13-year-old Bryce Clyde Jenkins, making his Broadway debut, as Travis Younger. Sophie Okonedo is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
Set on Chicago's South Side, A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband's money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama.
(Walter Lee Younger)
Broadway: Fences (Tony Award), Julius Caesar, and Checkmates. Other theatre credits: Richard III,Coriolanus, The Mighty Gents, Spell #7, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, Every Goodbye Ain't Gone, When the Chickens Come Home to Roost (Audelco) and A Soldier's Play (Obie). Film: The Equalizer (upcoming), Flight, Safe House,Unstoppable, The Book of Eli, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Great Debaters (directed), Inside Man, Déjà Vu, American Gangster, The Manchurian Candidate, Man on Fire, Antwone Fisher (directed), Training Day (Academy Award), John Q, The Hurricane (Golden Globe), Remember the Titans, The Bone Collector, Fallen, He Got Game, The Siege, Courage Under Fire, Crimson Tide, Devil in a Blue Dress, Much Ado About Nothing, Malcolm X, Philadelphia, The Pelican Brief, Mississippi Masala, Mo' Better Blues, Glory (Academy Award), Cry Freedom, and A Soldier's Story. He produced the Emmy-nominated documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks for HBO and was executive producer for the Emmy-nominated Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream for TBS. Denzel dedicates his performance to his good friend Tony Scott.
LATANYA RICHARDSON JACKSON
Extensive Theatre credits include Lincoln Center Theater's critically acclaimed Joe Turner's Come And Gone (Broadway), For Colored Girls..., Spell #7, Casanova,Unfinished Women (The Public Theatre), Stop Reset (Signature Theatre), August Wilson's 20th Century (Kennedy Center),Boogey Woogey And Booker T. (New Federal), The Talented Tenth (Manhattan Theatre Club), From The Mississippi Delta(Negro Ensemble Co.), The Member Of The Wedding(Westport Country Playhouse), Love, Loss... (Westside Theatre), Elliot Loves (Promenade). Film/TV: The Fighting Temptations, U.S. Marshals, Freedomland, Malcolm X, Mother And Child, Losing Isaiah, The Watsons Go To Birmingham, "Harry's Law," "Frannie's Turn," "NYPD Blue," "Chicago Hope," "Law and Order," and Sidney Lumet's "100 Centre Street." A graduate of Spelman College, LaTanya is married to actor Samuel L. Jackson and they have one talented daughter, Zoe Dove.
Sophie Okonedo is an Academy Award nominee for her performance in the film Hotel Rwanda. A regular on the English stage where her credits include productions at the Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Old Vic. Her many film credits include acclaimed performances in Skin (Best Actress British Independent Film Award nomination), The Secret Life of Bees (NAACP Image Award nomination), Dirty Pretty Things(Best Supporting Actress, British Independent Film Awards). For her performance in Hotel Rwanda, Sophie was also nominated for the Screen Actors Guild and NAACP Image Awards. Her TV credits include HBO's Tsumani: The Aftermath(NAACP Image Award, Golden Globe Award nomination, Best Actress), and, for the BBC, "Criminal Justice" (BAFTA nomination, Best Supporting Actress) and Winnie Mandela inMrs. Mandela (BAFTA nomination/Best Actress). A Raisin in the Sun is her New York stage debut.
ANIKA NONI ROSE
Anika Noni Rose won the Tony and Theatre World Awards for her performance in the musicalCaroline, Or Change and starred as Lorell in the screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Her other stage credits include the Encores! productions of The Cradle Will Rock and Purlie, the NY Philharmonic's production ofCompany, Maggie in Cat on A Hot Tin Roof opposite Terrence Howard, James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad, Footloose,and Eli's Coming (Obie Award). Anika's other film credits include For Colored Girls, Just Add Water and the Disney's animated feature The Princess And The Frog, in which she supplied the voice of Princess Tiana which made her Disney's first African-American princess. She will soon be seen in the film Half of a Yellow Sun opposite Thandie Newton. Her TV credits include The Good Wife, Elementary, Private Practice,Hallmark Hall of Fame's The Watsons Go To Birmingham, Stephen King's Bag of Bones opposite Pierce Brosnan and soon in A Day Late and a Dollar Short based on Terry McMillan's novel opposite Whoopi Goldberg. Anika is a three-time NAACP Image Award nominee for her performances in Anthony Minghella's The No.1 Detective Agency (HBO), Law & Order: SVU and Hallmark Hall of Fame's Mitch Albom's Have A Little Faith.
SEAN PATRICK THOMAS
Theatre: Arin Arbus' Othello (Intiman Theatre), Timon of Athens, Much Ado About Nothing with Jimmy Smits (NYSF), Paul in Six Degrees of Separation (Hanger Theater). Film: Deep in the Darkness, Honeydripper (Black Reel Award nomination), Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain with Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, Barbershop, Barbershop 2: Back In Business, Save the Last Dance (2 MTV Movie Awards, Male Standout Movieline Magazine Young Hollywood Award), Courage Under Fire, Finding Neighbors, The Burrowers, Murder on the 13th Floor, Cruel Intentions, Can't Hardly Wait, Picture Perfect, Conspiracy Theory. TV: "A Raisin in the Sun" opposite Phylicia Rashad, Sanaa Lathan and Audra McDonald (NAACP Image Award nomination), "The District," (Movieguide's Grace Award), "Reaper," "Ringer," "American Horror Story," "Lie to Me" and BET's "Reed Between the Lines." Thomas earned his MFA from New York University.
Jason Dirden returns to this role for a second time having played George Murchison in Phylicia Rashad's production of A Raisin in the Sun at The Ebony Rep Theatre in Los Angeles. Jason made his Broadway debut in Kenny Leon's revival of Fences and has worked with Mr. Leon in regional theater productions of Every Tongue Confess(Arena Stage), Stickfly (Huntington Theatre), August Wilson's 20th Century Cycle (Kennedy Center) and Ceremonies in Dark Old Men (True Colors Theater). Additional Off-Broadway and regional theater credits include The First Breeze of Summerand The Piano Lesson both directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Signature Theater) and Topdog/Underdog, directed by its author Susan Lori-Parks (Two River Theater). TV and Film credits include a recurring role on Tyler Perry's House of Payne and the independent film All About Youth. He holds a BA from Morehouse College and an MFA in acting from University of Illinois.
STEPHEN MCKINLEY HENDERSON
Stephen McKinley Henderson received a Tony Nomination and the Richard Seff Award for his performance as Bono in August Wilson's Fence. He also appeared in the Broadway productions of Dracula The Musical, Drowning Crow, King Hedley II and the revival of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Hewas a member of Mr. Wilson's celebrated Jitney ensemble (2002 Olivier Award for Outstanding Drama) and appeared in the Signature Theatre's August Wilson Season. He also participated in Kenny Leon's historic Century Cycle Readings at the Kennedy Center and was Ruben Santiago Hudson's Associate Artistic Director to for WNYC's audio recordings of Mr. Wilson's achievement. Additional theatre credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Public Theater), Death of a Salesman (Yale Rep), as well as other regional theater productions at The St. Louis Rep, Goodman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Pittsburgh Public Theatre and the Denver Theater Co. Film and TV credits include HBO's The Newsroom and Everyday People, Elementary, Blue Bloods, New Amsterdam, Law & Order, Lincoln, Tower Heist,Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Red Hook Summer. Upcoming films include The American Side (with Robert Forester and Matthew Broderick), The Romans and the new Spike Lee project. Professor and former chair of the Department of Theater and Dance for SUNY Buffalo. Member of the LAByrinth Theater Company, the Actor's Center and a Fox Foundation Fellow.
David Cromer most recently played Ned Weeks in The Normal Heart at Timeline Theatre in Chicago. Other credits include the Stage Manager in a production which he also directed of Our Town in New York (Barrow Street Theatre), Chicago (The Hypocrites), and Boston (Huntington). Other Chicago credits include Edmund in Long Day's Journey Into Night, Alex in Serenading Louie, The Elf in The Santaland Diaries, Allen Ginsburg in The Beats, and Louis in Angels in America. As a director, his New York credits include the Broadway revivals of The House of Blue Leaves and Brighton Beach Memoirs, Nikolai and the Others and When the Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center Theater), Women or Nothing(Atlantic), Really Really (MCC), Tribes and Orson's Shadow(Barrow Street Theatre), and Adding Machine (Minetta Lane). For his work as a director, he has received 3 Lucille Lortel Awards, 2 OBIE Awards, and was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2010.
BRYCE CLYDE JENKINS
Bryce Clyde Jenkins, 13 years old and making his Broadway debut, will appear with his father, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, in the upcoming film Off the Grid. Previous film credits include leading roles in Santa Paws II: Santa Pupsand My Homework Ate My Dog; as well as roles in The To Do List, Easy A, The Legends of Nethiah, and An incident in the Life of a Slave Girl. Bryce's TV credits include a lead role inThe Watsons Go to Birmingham, as well as roles in The Mentalist, Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith, CSI: Miami, andOutlaw. Bryce is grateful for the support of his family and friends and is humbled to be a part of this historic production, sharing the stage with such great actors.
BILLY EUGENE JONES
(Moving Man, u/s Walter & Bobo)
Billy Eugene Jones has appeared in the Broadway productions of The Trip to Bountiful, The Big Knife, The Mountaintop, Passing Strange, Radio Golf,Gem of the Ocean, and A Raisin in the Sun. Off-Broadway credits include The Jammer (Atlantic Theater Company), In the Footprint/The Battle Over Atlantic Yards (The Civilians),Waiting for Godot and Three Sisters (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Regional theater credits include The Good Negro(Goodman Theatre); Stick Fly (Arena Stage/Huntington Theatre Company); Death of a Salesman, Richard II, Breath, Boom!(Yale Repertory Theatre); Spunk (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Othello (California Shakespeare Theater); Hitney, A Christmas Carol (Alliance Theatre); Gee's Bend, Blood Divided (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Hamlet, Guys and Dolls, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, All's Well That Ends Well, Avenue X,Ohio Tip-Off, My Children, My Africa! (Dallas Theater Center);Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Macbeth, Tweltfth Night (Shakespeare Festival of Dallas). Graduate of Yale School of Drama.
KEITH ERIC CHAPPELLE
(Moving Man, u/s George)
Keith Eric Chappelle made his Broadway debut in Cyrano de Bergerac starring Kevin Kline. His off-Broadway credits include The Comedy of Errors, Richard III and Love's Labor's Lost (Public Theater) and A Cool Dip ...(Playwrights Horizons). He has appeared in regional theatre productions with the Shakespeare Theatre, McCarter Theater and with the Acting Company. TV credits includeElementary, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Law & Order and Great Performances. Keith is a graduate of the Juilliard School's Drama Division.
CHARLIE HUDSON III
(u/s Moving Man, u/s Asagai)
Charlie Hudson III, making his Broadway debut, appeared in Baltimore Center Stage's The Raisin Cycle, a presentation of A Raisin in the Sun andClybourne Park performed in repertory. Off-Broadway credits include Hurt Village (Signature Theater), White Woman Street(Irish Repertory Theatre), Bike Wreck (EST), Old Comedy(CSC) and Mother Courage (Public Theater). Additional regional theater credits include productions at the Trinity Repertory Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre and the Portland Stage Company. Charlie has appeared in the films Newlyweeds, The Rosa Parks Story, Waterfront, and Sylacauga and on TV in Criminal Justice andUnforgettable. He is a graduate of Alabama State University (BA); Brown University/Trinity Rep Consortium (MFA). Charlie would like to thank God for this opportunity and his loving family for their support.