WEST PALM BEACH — After receiving critical acclaim and overwhelming demand by South Florida audiences, A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s powerful drama, will extend its performance schedule through March 9 at Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Don & Ann Brown Theatre, 201 Clematis St. in West Palm Beach.
The production will play the additional performances on Thursday March 7 at 8 p.m., Friday March 8 at 8 p.m. and Saturday March 9 at 2 and 8 p.m. Individual tickets are $55 for all performances; student tickets are available for $10; group rates and discounted season subscriptions are available.
For ticket information contact the box office at 561-514-4042 or visit palmbeachdramaworks.org
Set in the 1950s on the South Side of Chicago, A Raisin In The Sun is the story of the Younger family, and their receipt of a substantial insurance payment that leads to life-changing decisions. The play is inspired in part by the experience of Hansberry’s family when her parents purchased a house in a “white neighborhood.”
As the Youngers argue over how best to use the money, the drama addresses issues that were rarely discussed at that time, including women’s rights and black identity. The play’s title comes from the poem Harlem, also known as A Dream Deferred, by Langston Hughes.
Hansberry, a playwright, author, activist and the granddaughter of a freed slave, grew up in a middle-class, activist family in Chicago. After moving to New York, she worked for a time at Paul Robeson’s progressive black newspaper, Freedom, first as a writer and then as an associate editor.
She completed A Raisin in the Sun in 1957, but it took producer Philip Rose well over a year to raise the money to bring the play to Broadway. The original production, directed by Lloyd Richards, opened on March 11, 1959 with a cast that included Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Louis Gossett and John Fiedler.
It was the first play produced on Broadway written by an African-American woman, and the first directed by an African-American man.
Hansberry went on to become the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Drama Critics’ Circle award.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ season will ontinue with Exit the King by Eugene Ionesco (March 29 – April 28), and Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel (May 24 – June 16).
*Pictured above is Ethan Henry.