On March 11, 1959, a play opened on Broadway that changed American theatre forever. "A Raisin in the Sun" examined issues that had never been presented on Broadway. It was the first play written by a black woman to be presented on Broadway with Broadway's first black director. This heartwarming, hilarious, groundbreaking story of a family's heroic efforts to make a better life for their children will run at Open Stage of Harrisburg February 6-22, 2015.
It took producer Phillip Rose over a year to raise the money to produce the original production of "A Raisin in the Sun." When it opened in 1959, both Rose and playwright Lorraine Hansberry didn't know if it could succeed, but it defied everyone's expectations and ran for 530 performances and was nominated for four Tonys including Best Play. "A Raisin in the Sun" has become one of history's most loved plays. It was made into a movie in 1961, a musical in 1973 (which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1974) and a made-for-TV movie in 1989 (which won three Emmy Award nominations).
A 2004 revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" with Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Phylicia Rash?d was nominated for four Tony Awards. The same cast from this production made another made-for-TV version in 2008. In 2014, Denzel Washingtonstarred in a second Broadway revival, which won three Tony awards.
Open Stage's production of A RAISIN IN THE SUN features a number of actors who have appeared at Open Stage before, many in the August Wilson Centrury Cycle of plays.This production is directed by Open Stage Executive Artisitc Director Donald L. Alsedek. The cast includes Jessica Gondwe (Ruth Younger), Madison Bond (Travis Younger), Leonard Dozier (Walter Lee Younger), Nhadya Salomon (Beneatha Younger), Sharia Benn ("Mama" Lena Younger), Jurdan Payne (Joseph Asagai), Jeremy Patterson (George Murchison), Aaron Bomar (BoBo), Dan Burke (Karl Lindner), and Jason Moffitt (Moving Man).
The set and costumes are designed by Gwen Alsedek. Lighting design is by Tristan Stasiulis.