New York City
Brandon J. Dirden (Jitney) and Crystal A. Dickinson (Clybourne Park) play Walter Lee Younger and Ruth Younger in one of the greatest family dramas ever written: Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 masterpiece A Raisin in the Sun.
In this landmark drama, Hansberry — drawing on her own family’s experience with housing discrimination — dramatizes the story of the Younger family, headed by matriarch Lena Younger, her son Walter Lee, and his wife, Ruth, who live (with other family members) in poverty on Chicago’s south side. As the play begins, we see that Walter Lee, a chauffeur, dreams of what he might do with a long-promised life-insurance check, a legacy left to them to them by Lena’s late husband. We meet the Younger family on the day that their lives could change forever. Taking its title from a poem by Langston Hughes — “What happens to a dream deferred/Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” — Hansberry’s play explores the different hopes and aspirations of each member of the Younger family as they fight for their piece of the American dream.
A Raisin in the Sun debuted in 1959 and was the first play by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. Produced at Two River for the first time in the theater’s 24-year history, the play is Lorraine Hansberry’s seminal masterpiece about race, social justice, and history — American history in the largest sense, and the personal histories of ordinary African-Americans.