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FIRST LOOK: Kentwood Players Presents A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Opening 1/8/16

Kentwood Players proudly presents Lorraine Hansberry's classic family drama "A RAISIN IN THE SUN" from Friday, January 8 through Saturday, February 13, 2016, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue in Westchester, CA 90045.

The production directed by Harold Dershimer and produced by Kathy Dershimer by special arrangement with Samuel French. Featured in the cast in alphabetical order are Rashod Davenport, Ruth Featherstone, Lawrence Hatcher, Daniel Kruger, Jean Michels, Patricia Newman, Shannon O'Connor, Damon Rutledge, Isaiah Suber, and Charlotte Williams.

"A RAISIN IN THE SUN" is the groundbreaking play which starred Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeill, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands in the Broadway production which opened in 1959. Set on Chicago's South Side, the plot 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 family matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband's insurance money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. However, her son Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man while Beneatha dreams of attending medical school.

The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama, centering on sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world. The play is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.

Special events on opening weekend for "A RAISIN IN THE SUN" include our Subscriber Saturday pre-show reception at 7pm on January 9, featuring complementary homemade treats and sweets along with champagne, wine, or apple cider for all subscribers and their guests. On Sunday, January 10, there will be a talkback after the matinee with Mamie Hansberry, the author's sister, who will share personal memories of the creation of the play and its initial run on Broadway.

Tickets are $20 with a $2 discount for seniors, students, servicemen, and Metro riders who present their monthly pass or TAP card when purchasing full price tickets at the box office. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (310) 645-5156 during box office hours, Wednesday through Saturday from 4pm-7pm. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express accepted. You may also purchase tickets online at Groups (10 or more) should call (310) 645-5156 and select the Group Sales option.

For more information about Kentwood Players including our current production, upcoming auditions, and future productions including "CLYBOURNE PARK" (the sequel and companion play to "A RAISIN IN THE SUN"), please visit the Kentwood Players website at You can also find Kentwood Players information on Facebook and Twitter.

To meet the "A RAISIN IN THE SUN" production team and learn more about Kentwood Players and what goes on at the Westchester Playhouse, the public is invited to attend our membership meetings, which are free and held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm at the Westchester Playhouse, located two blocks west of the San Diego Freeway and two blocks north of Manchester at 8301 Hindry Avenue in Westchester, CA 90045.

Photo credit: Shari Barrett

The Younger family portrait - clockwise - Mama (Patricia Newman seated), Travis (Isaiah Suber), Walter Lee (Damon Rutledge), Ruth (Shannon O'Connor), and Beneatha (Charlotte Williams)

The Younger family hears from Mama (Patricia Newman) that she went and bought them a house, shattering Walter's (Damon Rutledge) dreams.

Walter Lee (Damon Rutledge) tries to convince his wife Ruth (Shannon O'Connor) to intercede on his behalf and have a talk with Mama about his dream of opening a liquor store.

Ruth (Shannon O'Connor) looks on as her husband Walter Lee (Damon Rutledge) tells his sister Beneatha (Charlotte Williams) that she should just be a nurse like other women.

Mama (Patricia Newman) reminds Beneatha (Charlotte Williams) that in her house, there is still God, as Ruth (Shannon O'Connor) watches in shock.

Beneatha (Charlotte Williams) begs her brother Walter Lee (Damon Rutledge) for forgiveness for ever wanting to be anything in this life as Ruth (Shannon O'Connor) stands by praying their fighting will stop.

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From This Author - Shari Barrett