Triad Stage Presents ‘A Raisin in the Sun’: Review
By: Katie Murawski
“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?” – Harlem, by Langston Hughes.
Triad Stage Pyrle Theater presents “one of the greatest American play ever written,” Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Directed by Tiffany Nicole Greene, A Raisin in the Sun is a glimpse of a struggling African-American family living in a cramped apartment on the South Side of Chicago, set in the early 1950s. When the matriarch, Lena Younger (played by Karen Vicks) receives a life insurance check for $10,000 from her deceased hard-working husband, she and her daughter-in-law Ruth Younger (Angela K. Thomas) dream of a nice house in a nice neighborhood for their expanding family. While the man of the house, Walter Lee Younger (Edward O’Blenis) Lena’s son and Ruth’s husband, schemes to invest in a liquor store, his sister and college student, Beneatha Younger (Anita Welch) has her heart set on being a doctor. According to the press release, this “searing drama” is about struggling to “achieve the American Dream in the face of racial tension and economic disenfranchisement.”
I saw this wonderful production on Sunday evening. I thought it was the most endearing portrayal of a family I have ever seen. From the attention to detail of the elegant and captivating lighting, to the raw emotion and poise of the actors, this play cannot be missed. Especially during one of the most important times of the year: Black History Month. A Raisin in the Sun follows this truly timeless and relatable American family as they pick themselves up by their bootstraps and move out. I felt that this play truly captured the spirit of the American Dream. It also sheds intense light on the unnecessary trials and injustices African-Americans faced in the early 1950s. The immersive and inclusive environment of the Pyrle Theatre truly picks you up by your seats and gently drops you into the Youngers’ small apartment, like it was yesterday. Something must be said about the spectacular lighting. The authentic costume and set design. Of course, most obviously, the aesthetic of a moving, breathing and living theatre. Whatever the actors emoted crashed over the audience like a giant wave; it was hard to not drown.
In Greene’s director’s note, she outlined that Hansberry’s play remains timeless because “no play is past tense.” She wrote that the play does not take on the political and racial climate “by bringing us into the institutions and structures that oppress and deny.” Greene wrote that Hansberry focuses all her attention and energy on the home, which is a place the audience can understand, know and love.
Devin Kessler a senior drama student from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Drama. She said that it was her first time seeing the play and she loved it.
“For me as a black woman, it showed all three different kinds of black women I could be,” she said. “In the media today, we get a one-sided, popular [image of] black women that is glorified.”
Kessler said that is not all that black women are in society. They hold a very important and meaningful space in society and at home, and A Raisin in the Sun communicated that point eloquently.
Be sure to catch this heart-warming family play that captures the true American spirit at The Pyrle Theatre until Feb. 18. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Triad Stage website.
By: Heather Dukes
Triad Stage will be Presenting Our Town from Feb. 14 until March 4. According to the press release, for the citizens of Grover’s Corners, life is sweet. The doctor makes house calls, the teenage boy delivers the paper and the boy-next-door meets the girl-next-door. Set in an All-American small town at the turn of the century, this 80th anniversary production of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is a heartwarming and deeply moving reminder to appreciate life while one has it and to relish every moment – no matter how mundane it seems – for it is those small moments that are truly miraculous. This is a partnership production with UNCSA.
The University of North Carolina Greensboro will be presenting “Heathers the Musical” from Feb. 15-24 at the Taylor Theatre, located at 406 Tate St. According to the press release, this play is based on the 1980’s cult film, “Heathers: The Musical” and chronicles the senior year of Veronica, who hates the social hierarchy of high school. When she finally gets a taste of popularity, she learns that it comes at quite a cost. In her attempt to break the status quo, she accidentally creates a new one. A status quo of death. Witness teen angst in its highest form, as Veronica puts the popular kids in their place – six feet under. Adult tickets are $18, students are $12 and seniors are $12. UNCG students and UNCG retirees are both $9.
NC A&T will present “Mend A City: The Movement” at Paul Robeson Theatre Feb. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. According to the press release, this play was written by Tabia Mawusi, Xulee and Phillip J. Lightfoot and directed by Vanecia J. “This explosive theatrical performance tells the story of protest, praise and power. Perfect for Black History Month the production uses rhythm and prose to boldly catapult audiences into a world of racism, revolution, rebirth and renewal.” Tickets for adults cost $17. For senior citizens and non-A&T Students, the cost is $11. For children 12 and under, the cost is $6. And for A&T Students, admission is free with an Aggie One Card