Sunday, September 4, 2011

“A RAISIN IN THE SUN” SHINES @ EVERYMAN THEATRE

Lorraine Hansberry’s fiercely moving portrayal of an African American family struggling to realize the dream of a better life opens Everyman Theatre’s final season on Charles Street.

A Raisin in the Sun runs from September 7th thru October 9th<br />A RAISIN IN THE SUN

WHEN: September 7-October 9, Wednesday & Thursday 7:30 PM; Friday & Saturday 8 PM; Saturday & Sunday 2 PM; Sunday 7 PM
WHERE: Everyman Theatre, 1727 N. Charles Street, Baltimore
TICKETS: $30-$45, general admission
Purchase tickets ONLINE or at 410.752.2208
Many performances are already sold out.

The American classic tells the story of recently widowed Lena Younger, who receives a check from her husband’s life insurance. She plans to buy a new home for her family, freeing them from the cramped tenement in which she, her two children, daughter-in-law, and grandson live. However, her son Walter has different plans for the money. As one dream is fulfilled, another is deferred.

[NOTE: This play would be an ideal introduction to the theater for a teenager because A Raisin in the Sun is a play often read in middle school and high school.]

Lizan Mitchell & Dawn Ursula last shared the stage in Gem of the Ocean.<br />THE CAST: Resident Company Member, Dawn Ursula, returns to the Everyman stage as Ruth Younger. Dawn is fresh off her Helen Hayes award nominated performance in Woolly Mammoth’s Clybourne Park, a new play which takes place before and after the events in A Raisin in the Sun. (Left: Lizan Mitchell & Dawn Ursula last shared the stage in Gem of the Ocean.)

Renowned actress Lizan Mitchell, last seen as Aunt Esther in Everyman Theatre’s production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, returns to Baltimore to play the matriarch of the Younger family, Lena. The talented cast also features Eric Berryman (Asagai), Kyle Jackson (Bobo), Stephen Patrick Martin (Karl Linder), Calvin McCullough (George), Fatima Quander (Beneatha), and KenYatta Rogers (Walter Lee).

Playwright Lorraine Hansberry<br />THE STORY BEHIND THE PLAY
A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title is a reference to the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes, in which he questions "What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?" The play marked many firsts for Broadway—this was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first play with an African American director on Broadway. After its opening, the play won immediate popular and critical praise. (Playwright Lorraine Hansberry, right)

Over the years, the play has been transformed into a film starring original Broadway cast members Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, a 1970s musical entitled Raisin, and two made-for-television films (one in 1989 starring Danny Glover and Esther Rolle and one in 2008 starring the Broadway revival cast). Bruce Norris's 2010 play Clybourne Park depicts the events in the same house before and after the action of A Raisin in the Sun.