The Rochester Repertory Theatre is bringing a history-making production to its stage, starting this weekend. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry opened on Broadway in 1959 and was named the best play that year by New York Drama Critics’ Circle.
From the Rochester Repertory’s website: “Set on Chicago’s South Side, this American classic revolves around the divergent dreams within three generations of the Younger family. When the family patriarch’s life insurance money comes through, each family member has a different idea about what to do with the money. The Younger family’s heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world takes center stage in this searing drama of hope and inspiration.”
Powerful and significant
Rochester local, Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara, plays Ruth and says, “Being involved in this production has been so transformative and incredible. I get to be among amazing Black actors and creatives who have really cultivated a family and safe space for all of us. The co-directors , Sha Cage and EG Bailey and Assistant Director Dominique Jones are legendary and have shared their gifts and expertise with us and our community with remarkable generosity and commitment. Bringing this iconic play to life for our community here in Rochester feels so powerful and significant.”
Directors Sha Cage and EG Bailey describe the show, the choice to include the show in the Rep’s season, discuss what this show means to them in this video.
Rochester Repertory Theatre Managing Director Philip Muehe adds, “This is a historic moment for not only the Rep but Rochester as a whole. With the arts world changed forever in the aftermath of both COVID and the death of George Floyd, arts organizations need to meet this moment. We need to do our part to create space for marginalized voices in our communities, and I am honored to be working for a theatre company that makes that a priority. This is the first of many steps the Rep will take to become a more diverse, welcoming and equitable organization. Big thanks to the Minnesota State Arts Board as well for the grant that makes removing these barriers more achievable. ”
The cast is:
Mama – Michelle Sloane
Ruth – Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara
Beneatha – Ezra Carter
Walter Lee – Tim Nela
George – Demetrius “Nock” Johnson
Asagai – Maurice Opondo
Karl Linder – Faraz Samadi
Travis (Shared Role) – Christian Gary / Jalen Zaye
Bobo – Jarvis Green
Karl Lindner Understudy – Cameron Harris
The show opens Thursday, June 9 and runs through Sunday, June 25 with shows at 7pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2pm shows Sundays. There is no show on Sunday, June 11. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.