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A RAISIN IN THE SUN Launches Dallas Theater Center's 2013-14 Season Tonight

Dallas Theater Center launches its 2013-14 season with A Raisin in the Sun. Tre Garrett of Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre will make his directorial debut at DTC with this Tony Award-winning play. A Raisin in the Sun begins with a Pay-What-You-Can performance tonight, September 13 and runs through Sunday, October 27 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Tickets to A Raisin in the Sun are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202.

"For 54 years Dallas Theater Center has been committed to producing classic works of theater in fresh new productions that introduce new generations of theatergoers to the greatest plays of the past," says DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. "A Raisin in the Sun was a groundbreaking play when it premiered in 1959, marking the first time a play written by an African American woman was produced on Broadway. Its explorations of family and the definition of the American Dream still resonates powerfully today."

A Raisin in the Sun follows the Youngers, an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. Their universal dreams and aspirations for a better life seem within reach at the start of the play as the family waits to receive a large sum of money. But as each member of the family comes up with their own plans for how to spend this new-found wealth, achieving that dream is jeopardized. Lorraine Hansberry's play touches on a number of issues from generational clashes to civil rights, and the essential questions about identity, justice and moral responsibility that are at the heart of these struggles.

"What inspires me the most about working on this play with an immensely talented cast is the opportunity to work with a theater that believes in the social responsibility to produce work that will shape and inform a community," says director Tre Garrett. "This play is about the American dream and the challenges and personal revelations of that pursuit. It reminds us that even though we've come so far as a society, we still have great lengths to go to make that dream attainable to all."

"I'm thrilled to welcome director Tre Garrett to DTC with this production," says Moriarty. "As a peer artistic director in the community, I've been fortunate to count Tre as a trusted friend and colleague since he first came to Fort Worth several years ago. His work leading Jubilee Theatre has been transformational for the company, and I've loved every production of his that I've seen there. I'm proud to introduce his work to our audience at the Wyly Theatre, and I hope it will inspire Dallas audiences to visit Jubilee in the coming year, as well."

DTC Brierley Resident Acting Company Member Liz Mikel stars as Lena Younger. Mikel is a North Texas favorite whose has included starring on Broadway in Lysistrata Jones and on the television series Friday Night Lights; her work at DTC includes A Christmas Carol, Joseph and the Amazing TechnicolorDreamcoat and The Wiz. Other Company members include Hassan El-Amin as Bobo (FLY, King Lear, God of Carnage), Tiffany Hobbs as Beneatha (The Odd Couple, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, A Christmas Carol) and Steven Michael Walters as Karl Lindner (King Lear, Next Fall, Henry IV). Bowman Wright is making his DTC debut as Walter Lee Younger, the role originated by Sidney Poitier in 1959. Additional members of the cast include Jakeem Powell as Joseph Asagai, Oluwaseun Soyemi as George Murchison, Jacob Stewart as Jim/Tom and Ptosha Storey as Ruth Younger. Christopher Adkins and Justise Maon will alternate in the role of Travis Younger. McClendon Giles (a DTC Project Discovery alum) and William Sinclair Moore will alternate in the role of the Moving Man.

To create the restricted physical environment in which the family lives, set designer Bob Lavallee relied heavily on period research and regularly returned to the lines of the Langston Hughes' poem..."What happens to a dream deferred...Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load" "I envisioned the Younger apartment as a holding room for that 'dream deferred," says Lavallee. "One in which they spend a great deal of time in the dreaming of leaving, holding on to that sagging heavy load, as deterioration sets in around them."

Joining Lavallee on the design team are Karen Perry as costume designer (The Trinity River Plays), Seth Riser as lighting designer (King Lear, Tigers Be Still) and John Flores (Kitchen Dog Theater company member) as sound designer.

A Raisin in the Sun will be performed in rotating rep with Clybourne Park, a companion play by Bruce Norris. "Both A Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park stand on their own as powerful, smart, profoundly engaging plays, and both have been embraced by audiences on Broadway and at theaters across the country," says Moriarty. "Seen in rep, with alternating performances of each play and actors playing multiple roles, the plays take on an additional resonance, allowing Dallas audiences the unique opportunity to compare and contrast ideas about race, equality and the American dream as exemplified by an African American female playwright, writing 54 years ago, and a contemporary white male playwright responding to the immediate times in which we live."

A Raisin in the Sun opens with previews on Friday, September 13 at 8:00 pm with a Pay-What-You-Can performance. Tickets to this performance will be available for purchase online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org beginning Monday, September 9. Any unsold tickets to the PWYC performance will be available for purchase at the Wyly Theatre box office the night of the show beginning at 6:30pm. Tickets for A Raisin in the Sun are on sale now.

Ticket prices start at $15 and are available online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202. DTC's Come Early sponsored by Wells Fargowill take place one hour before every performance. Patrons will have the opportunity to learn about the play prior to viewing the production. DTC's Dr. Pepper Snapple Stay Late will take place after each performance. Patrons will have the opportunity to engage with artists, learn about the production and share insights about the play in a lively discussion. Details for Come Early and Stay Late are available online. A Raisin in the Sun is also part of this season's Student Matinee Series. Teachers interested in reserving seats for their students should contact the box office by phone or send an email tostudentmatinees@attpac.org.

Christopher Adkins (Travis Younger) is excited to work once again with DTC at the Wyly Theatre. Last summer he appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as part of the ensemble cast. Chris attends Harry Stone Montessori Academy where he is part of the Advanced Theater Class.

Hassan El-Amin (Bobo) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and he's the Community Outreach Artist at Dallas Theater Center. Acting credits include: FLY; The Odd Couple; King Lear; A Christmas Carol; God of Carnage; The Wiz; Henry IV; and Death of a Salesman. Regional Credits: Fences; Seven Guitars; Radio Golf; Jitney; Blues for an Alabama Sky; A Raisin in the Sun; The Lion King; The Tempest; Julius Caesar; King Lear; Othello; Stick Fly. Theaters: Kennedy Center; Mark Taper Forum; Goodman; Arena Stage; Guthrie; Alliance; Huntington; Denver Center; Portland Center Stage; Trinity Repertory; Milwaukee Repertory; San Diego Repertory; Penumbra; Colorado, Oregon, and Utah Shakespeare Festivals. Education: MFA, University of Delaware.

McClendon Giles (Moving Man) is a BFA candidate for Acting at Southern Methodist University. Most recently, he was in Blues for Mister Charlie (Tom) and Superhero! (Ty). He will soon play Eteocles in SMU's upcoming production of The Seven. He is thrilled to be making his Dallas Theater Center debut.

Tiffany Hobbs (Beneatha Younger) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and Casting Associate at DTC where her credits include: The Odd Couple; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Stagger Lee (staged readings); Cabaret; A Christmas Carol. Awards: 2011 San Francisco Broadway World Awards-Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Motormouth Maybelle (Hairspray) and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Joanne (Company); 2011 female Star Project winner (NBC and the American Black Film Festival). Recent roles include: Juanita (Blues for Mister Charlie), Susan (Race), Frosine (The Miser); Berniece (The Piano Lesson). New York Theater: The Burnin' (The Public Theater). Tiffany holds an MFA acting degree from SMU.

Justise Maon (Travis Younger) is an 11-year-old from Dallas. He had the opportunity this summer to appear in Jubilee Theatre's Mirandy and Brother Wind.

Liz Mikel (Lena Younger/Mama) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company. Selected DTC: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Wiz; Dividing the Estate; A Christmas Carol; Death of a Salesman; Give It Up!; A Midsummer Night's Dream (2009 & 1991); In the Beginning; The Who's Tommy; Crowns. Broadway and Off-Broadway: Lysistrata Jones. Regional: Cape Playhouse, A Contemporary Theater, Arkansas Repertory Theater. Local: Casa Mañana, Dallas Children's Theater, Jubilee Theater, Theatre Three, WaterTower Theatre. Tours: Ain't I a Woman;Blind Lemon Blues (Geneva and Paris); Blues in the Night. TV/Film: Dallas; Straight A's; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; Past Life; Friday Night Lights; Sordid Lives: The Series; It's in the Water;Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins. Awards: Leon Rabin Award, DFW Theater Critics Forum Award, D Magazine, Dallas Observer, Dallas Voice, Column Award.

William Sinclair Moore (Moving Man) is making his DTC debut in this production of A Raisin in the Sun. He attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit, MI and is a BFA candidate for Acting at Southern Methodist University. His most recent credits include Hurt Village; Shakespeare Project; Blues for Mr. Charlie; Stand-Up Tragedy; and The Colored Museum.

Jakeem Powell (Joseph Asagai) is proud to be making his DTC debut! He is a BFA candidate for Acting at Southern Methodist University. Credits include: Henry VI, Part 2 (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); The Man in the Iron Mask (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); The Mandrake (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); Blues For Mister Charlie (Southern Methodist University); The Will Power Project: Alice Underground (Southern Methodist University); and The Wiz (Edinburgh Fringe Festival).

Oluwaseun Soyemi (George Murchison) is a BFA candidate for Acting at Southern Methodist University, where he most recently played Vince in Leslye Headland's Assistance. Regional Credits:Avenue Q, Sweet Charity, and Xanadu (Summer Repertory Theatre). Local: Assistance; Blues for Mister Charlie (SMU Meadows). Recent Roles: Hurt Village (Ebony); The Bacchae (Pentheus);Touch(ed) (Billy); Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train (Lucius Jenkins).

Jacob Stewart (Jim/Tom) is a BFA candidate for Theatre Studies at Southern Methodist University. Recently, he appeared in Assistance; Major Barbara; Othello; and The Skriker (SMU). Jacob is from Saint Petersburg, FL and is proud to join DTC for this production of Clybourne Park.

Ptosha Storey (Ruth Younger) DTC: Crowns (Jeanette) and A Christmas Carol (Claudia). Regional: King Lear (Goneril) starring Charles S. Dutton, Stand Your Ground (The Black Rep - St. Louis), and Black Woman's Blues (with Vanessa Bell Calloway). TV& Radio: The Soul Man starring Cedric the Entertainer; Numbers; Strong Medicine; Moesha; and It's Your World (with Tom Joyner). BFA in Theatre at SMU. Nominee for the Leon Rabin Award for Best Director in A Glory over Everything. She is most proud of her role as mother to son, Jordan L. Jones. (USC '2015)

Steven Michael Walters (Karl Lindner) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and co-founder of Second Thought Theatre. DTC: King Lear; Next Fall; A Christmas Carol; The Tempest; Henry IV; The Beauty Plays and The Good Negro (a co- production with The Public Theatre in New York). Theatrical credits: King Lear (Trinity Rep); Love's Labour's Lost; The Cherry Orchard (Peterborough Players); Proof; Arcadia (Lost Nation Theatre); Jesus Hates Me (Kitchen Dog Theater); Thom Pain (based on nothing); King Ubu, The Glory of Living, Humpty Dumpty(Second Thought Theatre); Romeo and Juliet; As You Like It; A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare Dallas). TV: Chase; My Generation; Friday Night Lights; Trauma; Prison Break.

Bowman Wright (Walter Lee Younger/Brother) is making his Dallas Theater Center debut. Theatre credits include The Mountaintop (DR. Martin Luther King, Jr.) at The Alley Theatre and Arena Stage; TogDog/UnderDog (Lincoln) at Marin Theatre Company; A Raisin in the Sun (Walter Lee Younger) at Geva Theatre Center; A Midsummer Night's Dream at La Jolla Playhouse; The Dreamer Examines His Pillow (Tommy) at Shakespeare & Company; Piano Lesson (Lymon) at Virginia Stage Company; Since Africa (Ater Dhal) and A House With No Walls (Jacob, Austin) at InterACT Theatre Company; Fences (Cory) at Actors Theatre of Louisville; and Death and the King's Horsemen at Lantern Theatre Company.

Lorraine Hansberry (Playwright) graduated from Englewood High School in 1948 and attended the University of Wisconsin. She excelled in the humanities, but struggled with the required science courses. Two years later, Hansberry left college and moved to New York to pursue her writing career. Her first job was as a secretary for Freedom, an African-American newspaper founded by activist Paul Robeson. She initially was hired as the secretary, but eventually began writing and editing articles. In particular, she criticized the media's representation of blacks as unintelligent and sub-human. While in New York, Hansberry also attended classes at the New School for Social research, which enabled her to focus more on the subjects of her interest. Hansberry's first play won popular and critical acclaim. A Raisin in the Sun won the Drama Critics Circle Award for 1958-1959. Hansberry went on to write Les Blancs and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. Some of her other works include the screenplay Drinking Gourd and the autobiographical piece To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. On January 12, 1965, Lorraine Hansberry died an early death at the age of 34 after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. That same night, the curtain closed as The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window gave its last performance.

Tre Garrett (Director) is the Artistic Director for Jubilee Theatre, a former Show Director for Walt Disney Entertainment and a former director in residence of the John F. Kennedy Center. He attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts - graduated with a BFA in directing from North Carolina School of the Arts and a MFA from Academy of Art University. He was the assistant director for the pre-Broadway run of On Golden Pond, starring James Earl Jones, and the Broadway run of Julius Caesar, starring Denzel Washington. Tre is the recipient of several distinguished fellowships and awards including: Sir John Gielgud Directing Fellowship; Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference Directing Fellowship; Kenan Institute for the Arts Directing Fellowship; Arena Stage's Hughes Fellowship; two National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Awards; DFW Critics Forum Award for Best Direction; and Star-Telegram's and Theatre Jones' Best In Theatre recognitions.

Bob Lavallee (Set Designer) DTC: Red; The Second City Does Dallas; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Cabaret; A Christmas Carol (2005-2012). Production Designer: Barney and Friends, PBS. Senior Designer: Peter Wolfs, Dallas. Resident Designer: Casa Mañana, Fort Worth. Children's theater/musicals: Dreamgirls (Dir. David Thome); Lettice and Lovage (Dir. Kent Paul); Chess (Dir. Rob Marshall); My Way (Dir. Joel Ferrell); Phantom (Westport Country Playhouse, Dir. Paul Blake); Three Days of Rain (Amphibian Stage Productions, Dir. Adrienne Campbell-Holt). Set Design: The Verizon Academic All-American Hall of Fame Awards at the Waldorf Astoria. Film Production Design: Searching for Sonny (Dir. Andrew Disney).

Karen Perry (Costume Designer) DTC: The Trinity River Plays. Recent credits include: stop. reset, The Piano Lesson, My Children! My Africa! (Signature Theatre); Joe Turner's Come and Gone(Mark Taper Theatre); The Trip to Bountiful (Cincinnati Play House In The Park); Two Trains Running (Two River Theater Company); Crowns, The Musical (Goodman Theatre). Selected Film/TV:Bojangles (starring Gregory Hines); The Rosa Parks Story; Do the Right Thing; and Saturday Night Live. Awards: Lucille Lortel Award; NBTG Lifetime Award; CD Guild Award; Cable Ace and AUDELCO Awards

Seth Reiser (Lighting Designer) DTC: King Lear, Tigers be Still. Off-Broadway: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (The Public Theater); Radio Play (PS 122); The Bad Guys (Second Stage Theatre); the Obie Award-winning The Lily's Revenge (HERE Arts Center). Regional: Trinity Repertory Theatre; PlayMakers Repertory Company; The Denver Center; The Old Globe; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Seattle Repertory Theatre; On the Boards; and The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center; among others. MFA from New York University. Seth lives in Brooklyn with his wife Mary and daughter Marion. sethreiserdesign.com

John Flores (Sound Designer) Kitchen Dog Theater (Artistic Company Member): Se Llama Christina; one:man.show.; The Chairs; The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Becky Shaw; The Turn of the Screw; Collapse; 26 Miles; and more. Second Thought Theatre: In a Forest Dark and Deep; Gruesome Playground Injuries; A Behanding in Spokane; Lobster Alice; and A Skull in Connemara. Theatre Three, Inc.: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. DFW Credits: Shakespeare Dallas; Our Endeavors Theater Collective; Cara Mía Theatre Company; Audacity Theatre Lab; Junior Players; Project X: Theatre; and Limehouse Theater.

Barb Hicks (Production Manager) Barb served as the Costume Shop Manager here at Dallas Theater Center for many years prior to, most recently, leading the Costume Department at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She has now joyfully returned to DTC and is proud to be leading the Production Department into what will be an exciting and thrilling adventure of a season.

Leslie S. Allen (Stage Manager, A Raisin in the Sun) DTC: Fly By Night; King Lear; A Christmas Carol; Death of a Salesman; The Who's Tommy (ASM). Regional: Camelot (PSM, Casa Mañana),The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Neverending Story, And then they came for me, Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, Madeline's Christmas (SM, Dallas Children's Theater); Proof, Amadeus(SM, Plano Repertory Theatre); Forever Plaid, A Christmas Carol (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia). Tours: Barney: Let's Go Live!; Kelly Clarkson's Addicted; George Strait, 2007. BFA in Theater from Texas State University.

Harriett Bess Casting (New York Casting, A Raisin in the Sun) has been an independent New York casting director since 1989, casting for theatre, film and television. New York City: ABC/TV; Fox Television Studios; The Public Theatre; New Work Now!; Minetta Lane Theatre; Women's Project; La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club; New York Women in Film and Television; and The Jewish Repertory Theatre. Regional: Trinity Repertory Theatre; The Goodman Theatre; Baltimore Center Stage; Huntington Theatre Company; Virginia Stage Company; Dallas Theater Center; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; and Portland Center Stage. Film: Pushing Hands, Underheat, and First We Take Manhattan.

One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 120,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its Mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus and Rem Koolhaas and at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Heather M. Kitchen, DTC produces a seven-play subscription series of classics, musicals and new plays and an annual production of A Christmas Carol; extensive education programs, including Project Discovery, SummerStage and partnerships with Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; and community outreach efforts including leading the DFW Foote Festival and recent collaborations with the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Public Library, Dallas Holocaust Museum, North Texas Food Bank, Dallas Opera, and Dallas Black Dance Theater. Throughout its history, DTC has produced many new works, including The Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones in 1978, Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, adapted by Adrian Hall, in 1986, and recent premieres of Giant by Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson, The Trinity River Plays by ReGina Taylor, the revised It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, Give It Up! (now titled Lysistrata Jones and recently on Broadway) by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Julia Jordan, Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson.


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