Hopewell Theatre to present ‘A Raisin in the Sun’


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Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The Hopewell Theatre will celebrate Black History Month with a production of the classic American drama “A Raisin in the Sun,” which opens Friday.

“Raisin” is being directed by Carla D. Gipson, who also directed “Fences” at the Hopewell last season. The theater had to add an extra weekend to “Fences” to meet demand.

“‘A Raisin in the Sun’ has stood the test of time,” said Gipson. “We expect the ‘Fences’ audience will return in great numbers to see it.”

Written by Lorraine Hansberry, “Raisin” portrays a striving black family as it struggles to maintain dignity in a changing world.

Set in the 1950s on Chicago’s South Side, the Younger family works through tension caused by its members’ divergent dreams on how to spend a windfall of money. Mama Lena (played by Gipson) dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood. Her son, Walter Lee (Jere Beulah), seeks to be his own man and buy a liquor store. Daughter Beneatha (Kristyn DeAnna Cheatham) dreams of medical school.

IF YOU GO

What: “A Raisin in the Sun”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and also Feb. 22 and 23; and 2 p.m. Feb. 24

Where: Hopewell Theatre, 702 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown

Tickets: $13 ($10 for senior citizens and students); call 330-746-5455 or go to hopewelltheatre.org

In the play, Mama Lena says, “Seem like God didn’t see fit to give the black man nothing but dreams – but He did give us children to make them dreams seem worthwhile.”

The show’s portrayal of hope in the midst of prejudice with three generations of perspective on slow-coming social change sets it among the most inspirational of all American dramas.

The cast also includes Arianna Manigault, Dereon Bailey, Duane Davis, TaeShawn Madison, Ezekiel Ellis, Monica Beasley-Martin, Delmas Stubbs and Josh Ford.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and also Feb. 22 and 23; and 2 p.m. Feb. 24. The Hopewell is at 702 Mahoning Ave.

Tickets are $13 ($10 for senior citizens and students). Call 330-746-5455 or go to hopewelltheatre.org.

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