In February, Springfield Contemporary Theatre will present the Springfield area premiere of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic American dramaA Raisin in the Sun at SCT’s Center Stage, located in downtown Springfield at the corner of Pershing Street and Robberson Avenue. Hansberry’s portrait of the American Dream pursued by members of the Younger family in the early 1950’s is a masterpiece of American literature that is taught to high school freshman throughout the Springfield Public School district and is now being presented on stage in Springfield for the first time.
Notably, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Hansberry in 1957 was the first play presented on Broadway by an African-American playwright. It also was the first Broadway play to be directed by an African-American director, Lloyd Richards. The play is a semi-autobiographical account of Hansberry’s own family and their struggles to move into a white neighborhood resulting in litigation prior to the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Winner of New York Drama Critics Award for Outstanding Play, Frank Rich of the New York Times called it, "the play that changed American Theatre forever."
Set on Chicago's South Side, the plot of A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena. When her deceased husband's insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans, however: buying a liquor store, providing for his family and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of attending medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. Sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.
SCT’s production of A Raisin in the Sun is helmed by Artistic Director Rick Dines. The production features an entirely local cast – Robert Colyer, Alicia Marie Douglas, Christina Gardner, Lawrence Hairston, Henry Herbert, Jon Herbert, Mikil Hernandez, Johnnie Angelia King, Michael Lee, Tony Wheeler and L Wilbert. Tony Wheeler returns to SCT as Walter Lee Younger having been seen earlier this season as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in The Mountaintop. Johnnie Angelia King, most notable to SCT audiences as portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grillappears as Mama Lena. Also Michael Lee returns after several memorable SCT performances, most recently in Bus Stop and The Normal Heart, to play Karl Lindner. The remaining cast members are all making their Springfield Contemporary Theatre debuts with this production.
A Raisin in the Sun performs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30p.m. and Sundays at 2:00p.m. playing February 10-12, 17-19, 24-26, 2017. Reserved seat tickets for A Raisin in the Sun are priced $25 for Adults, $22 for Seniors (55+) and Students. Opening Weekend all tickets are priced $20. Student Rush tickets (if seats are available) will be sold 30 minutes prior to each performance for $10. For tickets call the SCT box office at 417-831-8001 or visit us online at SpringfieldContemporaryTheatre.org.
FEBRUARY 10-12, 17-19, 24-26, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 PM & Sundays at 2:00 PM