A Raisin in the Sun

STC-A-Raisin-in-the-Sun-photo-by-Joseph-MayersA moving portrait of a moment in American history and the story of one family searching for freedom, Sydney Theatre Company presents the Australian premiere of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

Premiering in 1959, when Lorraine Hansberry was just 29 years old, the play was the first by an African American woman to be shown on Broadway and it continues to challenge and move audiences generations later.

Living in a segregated neighbourhood of Chicago in the 1950s, the five members of the Younger family are all looking for ways to improve their lot: some through activism, some through fortune and some through simple feats of self-determination.

The arrival of a long-awaited life insurance cheque gives the close-knit family a chance to consider the possibility of a better life. But the  distance between dreams and reality proves further than any of them anticipated.

Directed by Wesley Enoch, Zahra Newman (Julius Caesar) and Bert LaBonté (All My Sons) will lead an exceptional cast in this production that includes Nancy Denis (Blithe Spirit), as well as Angela Mahlatjie, Gaius Nolan, Gayle Samuels, Leinad Walker, Jacob Warner, Adolphus Waylee and Ibrahima Yade who are all making their STC debut.

Enoch will be flanked by an incredible creative team to bring this moving story of resilience to life, including Zindzi Okenyo (Grand Horizons) as dramaturg, STC Design Associate Brendon Boney (Wudjang: Not the Past) as composer, Mel Page (Saint Joan) as designer and Verity Hampson (City of Gold) as lighting designer.

Enoch says his production of the show will be a “love letter to Lorraine Hansberry and the period of time in which it was written. It’s about honouring this incredible classic work that’s never been shown professionally in Australia,” he said.

“Not only does this play have a lot to say, very clearly, about contemporary America, it also has a lot to say, by extrapolation, about Australia. This idea of the aspirational qualities of a group of people remains incredibly relevant.”

“If you see a story and you have an emotional reaction and response to it, you can use that to fuel shifts and changes. This is a beautiful moment in time that we’re revisiting, so that we can judge ourselves against it.”

A Raisin in the Sun is a historical piece, again talking about race, and they are a natural bookend to the same concepts and ideas,” said Enoch.

 An iconic work of American theatre, A Raisin in the Sun is an unmissable night of theatre.

Director: Wesley Enoch | Featuring: Nancy Denis, Bert LaBonté, Angela Mahlatjie, Zahra Newman, Gaius Nolan, Gayle Samuels, Leinad Walker, Jacob Warner, Adolphus Waylee, Ibrahima Yade | Designer: Mel Page | Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson | Composer & Sound Designer: Brendon Boney | Production Dramaturg & Understudy Director: Zindzi Okenyo | Cultural Consultant: Charles Allen | Fight Director: Nigel Poulton | Intimacy Coordinator: Chloë Dallimore | Accent Coach: Amani Dorn | Voice Coach: Jennifer White

A Raisin in the Sun
Wharf 1 Theatre – Sydney Theatre Company, 15 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season: 2 September – 15 October 2022
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au

Image: A Raisin in the Sun – photo by Joseph Mayers