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Ensemble Theatre Presents Powerful Classic Production ’A Raisin in the Sun’


HOUSTON - The Ensemble Theatre is presenting one of the most pivotal plays in the history of American Black theatre, Lorraine Vivian Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”. This historic play represented a landmark in its authentic prediction of Black American life and the vivid demonstration of a so gifted artist and creator. The drama is based on sacrifice, heartbreak, trust, love and the family’s heroic struggle to stay together in the face of a racist, money-driven society.

When Hansberry’s first play, “A Raisin in the Sun” appeared on Broadway on March 11, 1959, this talented artist became at twenty nine the youngest American playwright, the fifth woman and the only African American to date to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play of the Year. In 1961, the film version starring Sidney Poitier, won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival and Hansberry was nominated for a Screen Writer’s Guild Award for the screenplay.

She was born in Chicago in 1930 on May 19 (Malcolm X’s birthday), the youngest of four children. When she was eight years old, her family bought a house in a white neighborhood where the hostility and eviction they encountered led them to the federal courts where they won their discrimination case. She later attended Chicago’s Art Institute and the University of Wisconsin before moving to New York in 1953. Hansberry died in 1965 of cancer and within the six years between her first play and her death, she was extraordinarily prolific. Even today, “Raisin” continues to resonate, holding the power to still reach new audiences and influence generations. It has been translated in all continents and over 30 languages, and performed in many productions abroad.

This production is directed by Elizabeth Van Dyke, a New York based director who recently directed The Ensemble’s Black History Month presentation of “Waiting to be Invited”. Van Dyke has a broad repertoire of both directing and acting credits and sits on the boards of the Passage Theatre in Trenton, New Jersey and the New Federal Theatre in New York City. She is also the Producing Artistic Director of “Going to the River”, a program for African American Women Playwrights at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York.

The featured and talented artists include: Davi Jay Broussard, Cheray Dawn Josiah, Elayn Taylor, Jordyn Lorenz, Ted Pfister, Jared Jackson Simon, Troy Hogan, Adrian Porter, Andrew Jackson and Chancellor Johnson.


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