Lorraine Vivian Hansberry

A RAISIN IN THE SUN

The Shubert Organization
Ethel Barrymore Theatre and Belasco Theatre
New York City, NY
Opening-March 11, 1959
Closing-June 25, 1960

Directed: Lloyd Richards
Designed: Ralph Alswang
Costumes: Virginia Volland
Lighted: Ralph Alswang
Sound Design: Masque Sound Engineering Company

Cast:
Sidney Poitier – Walter Lee Younger (Brother)
Ruby Dee – Ruth Younger
Glynn Turman – Travis Younger
Diana Sands – Beneatha Younger
Claudia McNeil – Lena Younger (Mother)
Ivan Dixon – Joseph Asagai
Louis Gossett – George Murchison
John Fiedler – Karl Lindner
Lonne Elder III – Bobo
Douglas Turner, Ed Hall – Moving Men

Scene from the play. Ruby Dee as Ruth, Claudia McNeil as Lena, Glynn Turman as Travis, Sidney Poitier as Walter, and John Fiedler as Karl Lindner.

A scene from the play. Ruby Dee as Ruth, Claudia McNeil as Lena, Glynn Turman as Travis, Sidney Poitier as Walter, and John Fiedler as Karl Lindner.

A Raisin in the Sun gained huge success despite it being produced by Philip Rose, a man that had never produced a play before and have very little interest from large investors early on. The production was first played in New Haven, Philadelphia, and Chicago, before eventually opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on March 11, 1959, in New York City. It ran there for 530 performances and made Lorraine Hansberry the first African American woman to write a play that was produced on Broadway. A Raisin in the Sun, also made Lloyd Richards, an actor and the dean of the Yale School of Drama from 1979 to 1991, the first African American to direct a play on Broadway since 1907.

Raisn program org 2

Raisin program org

The Broadway show, as well as the film adaptation made in 1961 of A Raisin in the Sun, included prominent black actors and moguls such as Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, and Glynn Turman.

Sidney Poitier in an exuberant moment from the 1961 film of A Raisin in the Sun, with actresses Diana Sand and Ruby Dee. All three had appeared in the original Broadway production.

Sidney Poitier in an exuberant moment from the 1961 film of A Raisin in the Sun, with actresses Diana Sand and Ruby Dee. All three had appeared in the original Broadway production.

{ VIDEO] Sidney Poitier, Lloyd Richard, and Ruby Dee reflect on The Groundbreaking Broadway Casting of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun 

Lloyd Richards and Lorraine Hansberry

Sidney Poitier is most known for being the first Black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lillies in a Field in 1963.

"As an actress, playwright, activist and poet, Ruby Dee is one of the most accomplished women of our time. The "Raisin in the Sun" star has won an Emmy, a Grammy, a SAG award and was a recipient of the 2004 Kennedy Center Honors (along with her late huband, Ossie Davis)"

“As an actress, playwright, activist, and poet, Ruby Dee is one of the most accomplished women of our time. The Raisin in the Sun star has won an Emmy, a Grammy, a SAG award and was a recipient of the 2004 Kennedy Center Honors (along with her late husband, Ossie Davis)”

Ruby Dee is a critically acclaimed African American actor and was a civil rights activist during the Civil Rights Movement. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named A Raisin in the Sun the best play of 1959. In 1960, A Raisin in the Sun was nominated for 4 Tony Awards, which recognize achievement in live Broadway theatre.

Ruby Dee on her role in A Raisin in the Sun

http://vimeo.com/94375269

Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project co-director /producer Tracy Heather Strain interviewed Ruby Dee in February 2009.

The nominations were as follows:

A Raisin in the Sun for Best Play A-Raisin-In-The-Sun-Playbill-06-59A-Raisin-in-the-Run-06-59-1

Synopsis

“Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark drama was one of the first on Broadway to examine African-American life on the cusp of the civil rights era. Walter Younger and his mother, Lena, both yearn to move their family out of Chicago’s Southside ghetto. When Lena’s late husband’s insurance check arrives, Lena hopes to use it to buy a house in a white neighborhood — while Walter hopes to invest it in a liquor business.”

Sidney Poitier for Best Actor in a Play

"He acted in the first production of A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway in 1959, and later starred in the film version released in 1961."

“He acted in the first production of A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway in 1959, and later starred in the film version released in 1961.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Poitier

 

 

Claudia McNeil for Best Actress in a Play

"Claudia McNeil (August 13, 1917 – November 25, 1993) was an American actress known for premiering the role of matriarch Lena Younger in both the stage and screen productions of A Raisin in the Sun. She later appeared in a 1981 production of the musical version of the play, Raisin presented by Equity Library Theater. She was twice nominated for a Tony Award, first for her onstage performance in A Raisin in the Sun (1959), and again for the play Tiger Tiger Burning Bright in 1962. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the screen version of A Raisin in the Sun in 1961." - (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Claudia McNeil (August 13, 1917 – November 25, 1993) was an American actress known for premiering the role of matriarch Lena Younger in both the stage and screen productions of A Raisin in the Sun. She later appeared in a 1981 production of the musical version of the play, Raisin presented by Equity Library Theater. She was twice nominated for a Tony Award, first for her onstage performance in A Raisin in the Sun (1959), and again for the play Tiger Tiger Burning Bright in 1962. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the screen version of A Raisin in the Sun in 1961.” – (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_McNeil

Claudia McNeil

Lloyd Richards for Best Direction of a Play

Lloyd Richards - "Mr. Richards explained why directing Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking drama "A Raisin in the Sun" on Broadway in 1958 was so meaningful to him. "This was not about being the first black director to work on Broadway," he added. "This was about showing that black people could be in love."

Lloyd Richards – “Mr. Richards explained why directing Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking drama A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway in 1958 was so meaningful to him. “This was not about being the first black director to work on Broadway,” he added. “This was about showing that black people could be in love.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Richards

Lloyd George Richards was a Canadian-American theatre director, actor, and dean of the Yale School of Drama from 1979 to 1991, and Yale University professor emeritus.

“Among Richards’ accomplishments are staging the original production of Lorraine Hansberry‘s A Raisin in the Sun, debuting on Broadway to standing ovations on 11 March 1959, and in 1984 he introduced August Wilson to Broadway in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. As head of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, he helped develop the careers ofWendy WassersteinChristopher DurangLee Blessing, and David Henry Hwang. Richards died of heart failure on his eighty-seventh birthday in New York City.Mr. Richards also taught Moscow Art Theatre acting technique under Paul Mann at the Actor’s Workshop in New York alongside Morris Carnovsky.”

The 1961 film adaptation also received several awards and recognition’s: The National Board of Review recognized Ruby Dee with the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in the film version of A Raisin in the Sun.

Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Dee

Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil were nominated for Golden Globe Awards for their roles in the film.

~*****~

Diana Sands

Diana Sands

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Sands

.

John Fiedler

John Fiedler

John Fiedler, has played character roles in celebrated dramas on Broadway and in Hollywood but gained lasting fame among young audiences as the voice of Piglet in Walt Disney’s Winnie-the-Pooh films.

Mr. Fiedler had appeared in the Broadway and film productions of “A Raisin in the Sun” and had played a juror on film in the drama “Twelve Angry Men.”

John Fiedler

Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr.

 

 

 

 

SANDS and GOSSETT (Raisin)

 

 


A_Raisin_in_the_Sun_1959

Glynn Turman

Glynn Turman

Ruby Dee and Glynn Turman

A_Raisin_in_the_Sun_1959

Sidney Poitier and Glynn Turman

~*****~

♫•*♪.¸♪♫•*OPENING NIGHT!♪♫•.*•♪

Raisin in the Sun opening night at Sardis

Raisin in the Sun opening night at Sardi’s

Lorraine Hansberry is captured by Gordon Parks chatting with the pianist at a party in honor of her play ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ at the now legendary Manhattan restaurant, Sardi’s in March 1959. Photo: Gordon Parks/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Lorraine Hansberry is captured by Gordon Parks chatting with the pianist at a party in honor of her play A Raisin in the Sun at the now legendary Manhattan restaurant, Sardi’s in March 1959. Photo: Gordon Parks/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Raisin Opening Night

Gordon Parks captures Lorraine Hansberry chatting with Harry Belafonte (Sidney Poitier is in the rear and actor Godfrey Cambridge) at a party in honor of Ms. Hansberry’s smash Broadway play, ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ at Sardi’s in New York City in March 1959. Photo: Gordon Parks/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

Gordon Parks captures Lorraine Hansberry chatting with Harry Belafonte (Sidney Poitier is in the rear and actor Godfrey Cambridge) at a party in honor of Ms. Hansberry’s smash Broadway play, ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ at Sardi’s in New York City in March 1959. Photo: Gordon Parks/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

American playwright Lorraine Hansberry (1930 – 1965) dances with Lloyd G. Richards during a party, in honor of her Broadway play ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ at Sardi’s restaurant, New York, New York, March 1959. (Photo by Gordon Parks/The Life Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Claudia McNeil, Sidney Poitier and Diana Sands (original Broadway produciton)

Claudia McNeil, Sidney Poitier and Diana Sands (original Broadway production)

Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier and Diana Sands

Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier and Diana Sands

Glynn Turman and Sidney Poitier (Studio Session)

Glynn Turman and Sidney Poitier (Studio Session)

Ruby Dee, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Sidney Poitier (Studio session)

Ruby Dee, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Sidney Poitier (Studio session)

Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier

Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier

Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands Sidney Poitier and Lloyd Richards (Studio session)

Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands Sidney Poitier and Lloyd Richards (Studio session)

Reviews
But she has not tipped her play to prove one thing or another. The play is honest. She has told the inner as well as the outer truth about a Negro family in the south-side of Chicago at the present time. Since the performance is also honest and since Sidney Poitier is a candid actor, A Raisin in the Sun has vigor as well as veracity and is likely to destroy the complacency of any one who sees it.

What the situations are does not matter at the moment. For A Raisin in the Sun is a play about human beings who want, on the one hand, to preserve their family pride and, on the other hand, to break out of the poverty that seems to be their fate. Not having any axe to grind, Miss Hansberry has a wide range of topics to write about-some of them hilarious, some of them painful in the extreme.

You might, in fact, regard A Raisin in the Sun as a Negro The Cherry Orchard. Although the social scale of the characters is different, the knowledge of how character is controlled by environment is much the same, and the alternation of humor and pathos is similar.
http://theater.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?id=1077011428967&html_title=&tols_title=&byline=&fid=NONE 

 

A Raisin in the Sun
The Phildelphia Guild 

David Dowing – Rosaana Carter – S Epatha Merkinson – Charlayne Woodard 

A Raisin in the Sun
The Phildelphia Guild 

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