A Raisin In The Sun

by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Derek Scott
Old Lewisburg High School Auditorium,
815 Market St, Lewisburg

Friday, February 17, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 19, 2:30 p.m.

LEWISBURG – The old Lewisburg High School building’s stage will see live theatre again as RiverStage Community Theatre presents the 1959 classic American drama A Raisin In the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.  Raisin In the Sun debuted on Broadway in 1959 and has been described as “the explosive story of a husband’s raw human need and a family’s courage.”  The story tells of a black family and their experiences in Chicago as they attempt to escape their dilapidated apartment using an insurance payout from their father’s death.  Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and multiple Tonys, A Raisin In the Sun has been revived on stage, film and TV many times including a 1961 film version starring Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.  Inspired by Hansberry’s own family’s experiences with racial discrimination in housing in the 40’s, it was the first play written by a black woman ever to be produced on Broadway. The New York Times and other critics have noted that Raisin and its powerful story of the African-American experience “changed American theater forever.”

This production is directed by Derek Scott, a well-known local director and playwright (My Soul Looked Back and Wondered) who has been producing theatre in the Susquehanna Valley for over 15 years.  “Raisin In the Sun is a terrific piece of storytelling that everyone can relate to, regardless of your background.  RiverStage thought it was a particularly appropriate show to do here in Lewisburg as a celebration of February’s Black History Month, but it’s also just an entertaining, thought-provoking story,” said Scott.  “The title comes from a Langston Hughes poem where he says, ‘What happens to a dream deferred?  Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?  Or does it explode?’  And that’s what this story is about—a father, and a grandmother, and a whole family who have dreams about a better life, and what happens to all of us when those dreams get put on hold.  We hope everyone comes out and takes advantage of the chance to see this great show live on stage.”

The show features a dedicated cast of local actors, including Thaddeus Davis as the father, Walter Lee Younger, Caroline Pogust as his wife Ruth, Jeremiah Davis as their son Travis and Darianne Scott as Walter’s sister, Beneatha.  Denise Guin-Bailey will play Lena (Mama) Younger, with Joseph Baltz as Mr. Lindner and director Scott playing the role of Bobo.  Set design and technical direction is led by Stefan Eisenhower with production management by Emily Gibson.