Old Academy Players Presents A RAISIN IN THE SUN

by Patricia Bradford

PHILADELPHIA, PA – East Falls’ historic Old Academy Players celebrates its 96th season opening with the inspiring and thought-provoking American drama, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, written by Lorraine Hansberry. Directed by Carla Childs and produced by Jesse Friedman, Janine Lieberman, Helga Krauss, Dale Mezzacapa, and Loretta Lucy Miller, this classic will be performed on September 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, & 30, 2018; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN, set in the 1950’s on Chicago’s South Side; is a groundbreaking play revolving around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son, Walter Lee; his wife, Ruth; his sister, Beneatha; his son, Travis; and Mama, the matriarch Lena. When Lena’s deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, she dreams of moving to a better neighborhood. Walter Lee has other plans – buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The struggles of this poor, striving black family to maintain dignity, love and trust in a harsh and changing world make this one of the most important and inspiring works in American drama.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN opened on March 12, 1959 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. It was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first with a black director, Lloyd Richards. Hansberry noted that her play introduced details of black life to the overwhelmingly white Broadway audiences, while director Richards observed that it was the first play to which large numbers of black people were drawn. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named it the best play of 1959 making Hansberry the first African-American and youngest person to win the award. In 1960 A RAISIN IN THE SUN was nominated for four Tony Awards. A RAISIN IN THE SUN was made into a movie in 1961, featuring its original Broadway cast. In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States of America National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Old Academy Players’ stellar cast includes: Vanessa Ballard (Mama), Jerome Scott (Walter), Lynn Shirley (Ruth), Janae Rockemore (Beneatha), Will Jiggetts (Travis), Brian Neal (Joseph Asagai), Isaiah Price (George Murchison), Omar Bullock (Bobo), and Breen Rourke (Karl Lindner).

Lorraine Hansberry’s words and ideas articulated in A RAISIN IN THE SUN are as relevant today as when she first wrote them. When taken to heart, the audience will have the honor to experience the hope, humor, desperation, aspirations, dignity and love of the unforgettable Younger family. This powerful production with its honest, and at times gut wrenching emotions, will take the audience on a journey long remembered.

Subscribe to Old Academy Players’ Season and see six great shows for one low price of $85 – a savings of $40! Individual ticket prices are $20 for plays and $25 for musicals.

Old Academy Players, where Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky made their stage debuts, is a non-profit community theater located at 3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls (Philadelphia), the urban village on the Schuylkill River. Constructed in 1819, the Old Academy building has been the OAP home since 1932. Old Academy Players has provided continuous community theater since 1923 and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Old Academy welcomes groups! If you have 15 or more in your party, you can take advantage of group discount pricing. Parking for all performances is free. For information and tickets, call 215-843-1109 or visit the theatre’s website to get your tickets on line at www.oldacademyplayers.org.

Theater/Organization OLD ACADEMY PLAYERS
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.oldacademyplayers.org/

Theater/Organization Address: 3544 Indian Queen Lane Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (215) 843-1109

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