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NFL's Eddie George Will Return to the Stage in A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Nashville Rep

Nashville Rep will produce A Raisin in the Sun to run from March 25 - April 15, 2017, starring NFL player Eddie George as Walter Lee Younger.

Written by Lorraine Hansberry, this play is an American classic that first appeared on Broadway in 1959. The insightful play made an immediate historical impact - being the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway.

"Playwright Lorraine Hansberry was an amazing woman," says the plays director René D. Copeland. "During her childhood her family moved to a white neighborhood in Chicago in violation of the segregation laws creating a case that went to the Supreme Court. Her commitment to social activism and intellectual rigor made her uniquely attuned to illuminating the human condition through her art."

Other firsts for the play include being directed by Broadway's first black director, Lloyd Richards. It won the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play making Hansberry the youngest American, first woman, and first African American to win the award.

"A Raisin in the Sun is an iconic play that still resonates today," says actor George, who plays the pivotal role of Walter Lee. "I look forward to bringing my own interpretation of who Walter Lee is during this period of time. The play goes through the frustrations of being an African American male and who he wants to be during that time in American history. I'm excited to be a part of that."

The role of Walter Lee has been performed on stage and screen by notable actors such as Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Denzel Washington, and Sean "Puffy" Combs.

George has previously performed with Nashville Rep in The Whipping Man in 2015, has done shows with numerous other Nashville theatres, and recently appeared as Billy Flynn in Chicago on Broadway.

Three generations of the Younger family live in a "rat trap" of an apartment in Chicago that they've been renting for always. With the passing of the patriarch, a life insurance check of significant value arrives. How will the money best be spent for the benefit of the family? Should a home be purchased, a business venture be invested in, or medical school be paid for? And whose decision is it? Whose dream gets deferred?

Nashville Rep's A Raisin in the Sun runs March 25 - April 15 in Johnson Theater at Tennessee Performing Arts Center located at 505 Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville. Preview performances are March 23 and 24.

Cast includes Eddie George, Matthew Carlton, Brandon Hirsch, Lauren F. Jones, James Rudolph, Tamiko Robinson Steele, and Jackie Welch. Russell Jacquese Acklin, Jr. and Zechariah Brown share the role of young "Travis." TSU students Antwan Harris, Marquan Martin, and Cheldrick Wooding round out the cast.

The production is directed by Nashville Rep's Producing Artistic Director, René D. Copeland with Tennessee State University's Marc R. Payne as assistant director. Designers are Gary C. Hoff (Scenic Designer), TrisH Clark (Costume Designer), Evelyn Thornhill (Props Master), and Phillip Franck (Lighting and Sound Designer).

Tickets are $25 for previews and start at $45 for regular run. Tickets can be purchased online at nashvillerep.org or by calling the Box Office at 615-782-4040.

Nashville Rep is a non-profit theatre creating classic and contemporary theatre for Nashville that inspires empathy and prods intellectual and emotional engagement in audiences. The 2016-17 season of shows includes The Last Five Years, Noises Off, A Christmas Story, Posterity, and A Raisin in the Sun. The season concludes with the Ingram New Works Festival in May - a showcase of new works created in Nashville for the American Theatre.



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