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A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun
Feb 22 – Mar 16, 2018

By Lorraine Hansberry; Directed by Warren C. Bowles
Drama on the ANDY BOSS THRUST STAGE
Back by Popular Demand – Limited Performances!
View / Download the Playbill

This show’s run has concluded.

The proud but poor Younger family captivates audiences with their passion, hope and zest for living in the face of adversity. A life insurance legacy ignites dreams for a home, education and ultimately a destiny they can call their own in the first Broadway play by an African-American woman.  “A sterling production at Park Square.”StarTribune, 2016

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR

Director Warren C. Bowles talked to feature writer Matt DiCintio about the Younger family, their values, and their aspirations.

Hansberry’s play is well known to many audiences, and this is not the first time you’ve worked it. What makes this time different?
It’s wonderful to have such a very strong cast. We’re going to be able to investigate the depth of this family and the individual characters within it. The play is an American classic, but we don’t want to play it on a superficial level, as if everyone was familiar with it. This is a wonderful, wonderful family. They shed a real light on the situation of black people in the fifties, and that sense of aspiration and wanting to move out of the particular condition they’re in.

The play is very much of its time. How does it resonate today?
That’s the key. You know, the term “family values” is so overused and nebulous nowadays that it can be dangerous to use it. But what we see here are real family values, real individuals. Some people today tend to make the whole experience of being black in this country as something that is rather vague and universal. You hear politicians talk about African Americans as though they are one singular group. But here are real sacred experiences and aspirations. Hansberry is giving us a very particular worldview of what it is to be black in America and black in the world. She had little or no respect for people who only seek wealth, and you get that sense from George and the Murchisons. But with the Youngers, there is a tremendous sense of family dignity and family history. When we first met as a cast, we talked about how one of the first things we hear when some tragedy occurs is, “What would Martin Luther King have to say about XYZ if he were here?” Of course, he’s not, but the dream and the goal are. In Raisin there is a longing for that result. This is definitely a play about 2018.

How are you and Darius Dotch approaching the character of Walter Lee and his values?
First, I hope audiences don’t assume that his idea to open a liquor store is negative. Walter Lee’s business sense may be weak, but there are a lot of very good businessmen whose business is the selling of alcohol and sprits. I come from an area in Minneapolis where one of the strongest businesses is Ken and Norm’s Liquors, that was run by two black men who really supported the community – to the extent that new owners realized they had to keep the name because they were such a strong part of the community. The business is  part of Walter Lee seeking his “manhood.” The family has just lost Big Walter, a dominant figure, so Walter Lee has an expectation that he will fill that role. The business decision is tough for him – taking a chance that will earn his family’s respect and allow him to “come into his manhood,” as Mama says. That’s how high the stakes are. We should keep in mind that $10,000 is a lot of money, almost $100,000 in today’s money. It’s extraordinarily life-changing. That’s a big investment Walter Lee wants to make. For himself and for his family.

Matt DiCintio holds a PhD in Drama from Tufts. He works at Boston University and is a freelance dramaturg.

 

Cast

Crew
Director – Warren C. Bowles
Scenic Designer – Lance Brockman
Costume Designer – A. Emily Heaney
Lighting Designer – Michael P. Kittel
Sound Designer – Evan Middlesworth
Properties Designer – Sadie Ward
Properties Master – Robert “Bobbie” Smith
Choreographer – Emily Madigan
Assistant Director – Theo Langason
Stage Manager – Laura Topham*

*member, actors’ equity association


 7:30pm
 2:00pm
C – Open Captioning

This show’s run has concluded.

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