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Lorraine Hansberry Statue 'To Sit A While' to Return to New York at Astor Place During A RAISIN IN THE SUN Performances

The Public Theater will begin performances for the upcoming revival of A Raisin in the Sun on Tuesday, September 27.

A Raisin In The Sun

The Public Theater will begin performances for the upcoming revival of A Raisin In The Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Tony Award nominee Robert O'Hara with a Joseph Papp Free Performance on Tuesday, September 27. This revival marks Hansberry's Public Theater debut as the theater's Astor Place home celebrates its 55th season producing work by groundbreaking artists. A Raisin In The Sun will continue performances in the Newman Theater through Sunday, November 6, with an official opening on Wednesday, October 19.

During A Raisin In The Sun's preview performances through Opening Night, theatergoers will be able to visit To Sit A While, a statue of Lorraine Hansberry by sculptor Alison Saar, at Astor Place. The figurative statue of Hansberry, commissioned by the Lorraine Hansberry Initiative, was unveiled in Times Square on June 9, 2022, bringing deserved attention to Hansberry's work as an artist and civil rights leader in this crucial moment in history. It is currently on a national tour and will return to New York with an installation at Astor Place from Saturday, October 1 through Friday, October 21.

Presented by The Lillys, dedicated to promoting gender and racial parity in theater, the Lorraine Hansberry Initiative is a two-pronged project, honoring the great American playwright, and investing in the next generation to follow in Hansberry's footsteps through a scholarship to cover the living expenses of women and non-binary playwrights of color pursuing graduate degrees in playwriting.

The cast of A Raisin In The Sun includes Francois Battiste (Walter Lee Younger), Toussaint Battiste (Travis Younger), Almeria Campbell (Understudy Ruth Younger/Mrs. Johnson), John Clay III (Joseph Asagai), Vann Dukes (Understudy Moving Man), Bjorn DuPaty (Moving Man), Calvin Dutton (Bobo), Mister Fitzgerald (George Murchison), Perri Gaffney (Mrs. Johnson), Skyler Gallun (Understudy), Paige Gilbert (Beneatha Younger), Christopher Marquis Lindsay (Moving Man), Mandi Masden (Ruth Younger), Camden McKinnon (Travis Younger), Jesse Pennington (Karl Lindner), Tonya Pinkins (Lena Younger), and N'yomi Stewart (Understudy).

Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun comes to Astor Place this fall in Hansberry's Public Theater debut. Directed by Tony Award nominee Robert O'Hara, this fresh look at a classic proves to be as provocative and powerful today as it was in 1959. Lena Younger has decided to use her late husband's life insurance to move her family out of their cramped apartment on Chicago's South Side. Her son, Walter Lee, has other ideas. This innovative new production of an American classic fearlessly interrogates the American dream in the face of racial and economic strife.

"I am filled with curiosity and excitement by what this tremendous cast that The Public has assembled will bring to a play I consider simply the best ever written," said director Robert O'Hara. He continues, "having them all with me and our brilliant designers in this exploration of this essential classic and doing it at The Public Theater where I debuted as a writer and director is a dream come true. A dream that I didn't have to defer because there were works like A Raisin In The Sun that I held as my guiding light and which blazed the path for me and countless others."

The production features scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Karen Perry, lighting design by Alex Jainchill, sound design by Elisheba Ittoop, sound system design by Will Pickens, hair and wig design by Nikiya Mathis, video design by Brittany Bland, prop management by Claire M. Kavanah, fight and intimacy direction by Teniece Divya Johnson, and movement direction by Rickey Tripp. Clarissa Marie Ligon will serve as production stage manager and Andie Burns will serve as stage manager.

In addition to A Raisin In The Sun, The Public's 55th anniversary season at Astor Place will also include Elevator Repair Service's BALDWIN AND BUCKLEY AT CAMBRIDGE in the Anspacher Theater. The production is a profoundly relevant presentation of the legendary debate between virtuosic writer James Baldwin and father of American conservatism William F. Buckley, Jr. In October, WHERE WE BELONG begins in the LuEsther Hall-an intimate and exhilarating solo piece written and performed by Madeline Sayet and directed by Mei Ann Teo, co-produced with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with Folger Shakespeare Library. Sayet's story is a celebration of the indigenous community and an in-depth exploration of colonialism that asks us what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world. The Public will close out the fall in Joe's Pub with the World Premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks' PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR, both a personal story of one family's daily lives, as well as a sweeping account of all we faced as a city, a nation, and a global community. Working in collaboration with Niegel Smith as director, Parks' groundbreaking new work is brimming with humanity, bears witness to what we've experienced, and offers inspiration as we look ahead.

In keeping with guidance from city, state, and federal officials, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and the use of face masks are no longer mandated for entry into The Public's theaters, restaurant, or the facility. This change in policy is effective immediately. The use of face masks is encouraged at all performances, but will only be required at Saturday and Sunday matinee performances, Tuesday evening performances, as well as Joseph Papp Free Performances. These mask required performances are to accommodate those who are immunocompromised or uncomfortable in an unmasked environment. Learn more at Safe At The Public.

The Library at The Public serves food and drink Tuesday through Sunday, beginning at 5:00 p.m. and closing at midnight. The Library is closed on Mondays. For more information, visit

ABOUT The Public Theater:

THE PUBLIC continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation's first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public's wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City's five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Lab, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe's Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the upcoming production of Ain't No Mo' by Jordan E. Cooper. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 60 Tony Awards, 184 Obie Awards, 56 Drama Desk Awards, 59 Lortel Awards, 34 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, 58 AUDELCO Awards, 6 Antonyo Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes.

The Public Theater stands in honor of the first inhabitants and our ancestors. We acknowledge the land on which The Public and its theaters stand-the original homeland of the Lenape people. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory. We honor the generations of stewards and we pay our respects to the many diverse indigenous peoples still connected to this land.

The LuEsther T. Mertz Legacy Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater's year-round activities.


A RAISIN IN THE SUN begins performances in The Public's Newman Theater with a Joseph Papp Free Performance on Tuesday, September 27 and will run through Sunday, November 6, with an official press opening on Wednesday, October 19.

The Public's Joseph Papp Free Performance initiative will offer free tickets to the performance on Tuesday, September 27 through TodayTix. The Lottery will open for entries on Tuesday, September 20 and will close at 12:00 p.m. on the day of the performance. Winners will be notified by email and push notification anytime from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and if selected, winners will have one 1 hour to claim their tickets.

The performance schedule is Tuesday through Sunday at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (The performances on Thursday, September 29; Wednesday October 12; and Tuesday, October 25 will be at 8:00 p.m. There will be no 1:00 p.m. performances on Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2.)

The Open Captioned performance will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 29. The American Sign Language Interpreted performance will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 5.

The full performance calendar can be found at


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