Warehouse to present ‘A Raisin in the Sun'


The director and cast of “A Raisin in the Sun” are, seated, from left, Damodara Kovie, Tracy Barnwell-Anderson, Sanaa Sheppard and Danielle Butler, and standing, from left, Amanda Edwards, director L'Tanya Van Hamersveld, Bradley Small and Charlie Brown.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.

Hopes and dreams and family conflict are the themes that will be explored in “A Raisin in the Sun,” a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959, but is just as relevant today.

Facts

WAREHOUSE PLAY

What: “A Raisin in the Sun,” a drama set in Chicago in the 1950s.
When: 8 p.m. May 23-25 and May 30-31 and 3 p.m. May 26 and June 2.
Where: The Actors’ Warehouse, 608 N. Main St.
Tickets: $15 online and at the door.
Information: Call 352-222-3699 or visit www.actorswarehouse.org.

“A Raisin in the Sun” will be presented at 8 p.m. May 23-25 and May 30-31 and 3 p.m. May 26 and June 2 at The Actors' Warehouse at 608 N. Main St. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online and at the door.

“A Raisin in the Sun,” which will be directed by L'Tanya Van Hamersveld of Gainesville, closes the 2012-2013 season for The Actors' Warehouse. The play opened to great success on Broadway and was made into a motion picture in 1961 starring Sidney Poitier. The title of the play was taken from “A Dream Deferred,” a poem by Langston Hughes (1902-1967), an African-American poet, writer, playwright, columnist and social activist.

Hansberry (1930-1965) was the first African-American female playwright to produce a drama on Broadway and the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics' Circle award.

The play, which is set on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s, opens with the Younger family about to receive a $10,000 insurance check. The plot revolves around the dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family.

They are: son, Walter Lee, played by Bradley Small; his wife, Ruth, played by Amanda Edwards; his mom, Lena, played by Tracy Barnwell-Anderson; his sister, Beneatha, played by Danielle Butler; and his son, Travis, played by Sanaa Sheppard.

Others in the cast include Beneatha's two suitors, George Murchison played by Charlie Brown and Joseph Asagai played by Tommie Barnwell, and also Karl Lindner, a representative from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association, played by Damodara Kovie.

Rhonda Wilson, founder of The Actors' Warehouse and artistic director of the Spirit of Soul Repertory Company and the Star Center Children's Theater, said “A Raisin in the Sun” centers on a family's hopes and dreams.

“They all have their own dreams,” Wilson said. “It's about wanting something and obstacles get in the way. The love of family is what holds it together.”

Van Hamersveld said the play is about an American family and their problems when materialism gets in the way and ruins relationships.

“I hope they (those who will attend) take away how important families are,” said Van Hamersveld. “Family is the most important thing, and with family love, people can survive.”

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