The Rep Opens A RAISIN IN THE SUN, 3/15
One of the most powerful and beloved American plays ever written, A Raisin In the Sun tells the story of the Younger family's struggle for dignity and a better life - and the backlash that erupts when they try to move beyond their oppressive Chicago tenement home. Set just before the dawn of the Civil Rights and Women's Movements, A Raisin In the Sun demonstrates how a single family's dreams can change the world. Don't miss the play that The New York Times said "changed American theatre forever." A Raisin In the Sun was written by Lorraine Hansberry, and will be directed by Ron OJ Parson. The cast features Associate Artist James Pickering, and Rep newcomers Christophé Abiel, Gavin Lawrence, Mildred Marie Langford, Ericka Ratcliff and BrayLen Stevens. Greta Oglesby, who wowed Rep audiences in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom two seasons ago, returns to The Rep in this production. Chiké Johnson also returns to The Rep after playing the Duke of Cornwall in King Lear. The cast also features current Artistic Intern Ensemble Members Trequon Tate, Lamar Jefferson and Tyrone Phillips. A Raisin In the Sun runs in The Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse from March 12 - April 14 and opens on Friday, March 15, 2013.
"A Raisin In the Sun is one of the greatest and most important American plays ever written - and even though that writing was over 50 years ago, it still contains great resonance today," says Artistic Director Mark Clements. "It's one of those theatrical giants that everyone needs to see at some point, and takes you on a wonderful journey that will leave you feeling a multitude of emotions as you root for the Younger family to achieve their dream of a better life."
Director Ron OJ Parson added, "A Raisin In the Sun is such a special play for me. I am truly honored to once again tackle this groundbreaking script. . . . I go back with this play to my youth in the theater, in my hometown of Buffalo, New York and I have to say that it has an effect on me every time I revisit this great play. . . . I love that "theater" cannot only entertain, but educate as well. Plays like A Raisin In the Sun move us, inspire us and compel us to strive to reach our dreams in whatever field we choose."
When Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, debuted in 1959, it was the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. It premiered on March 11, 1959 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, and was directed by Lloyd Richards. It was named the best play of 1959 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle and was nominated for four Tony Awards. A Raisin In the Sun has since been made into several films, a musical and enjoyed a Broadway revival in 2008.