Seattle Rep’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents A RAISIN IN THE SUN by Lorraine Hansberry from September 30 to October 30, 2016. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and DVDs to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN: Beyond the Theatre

a-raisin-in-the-sunLorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun was an important, controversial play for its time and its themes of an African American family trying to survive and get ahead in a white world still illuminates and resonates today. Here are some further reading and viewing suggestions that will help deepen your understanding and enjoyment of the Seattle Rep’s production of Hansberry’s contemporary classic.

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes. Hansberry took the title of her play from a line in “Harlem,” one of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’ most famous works. (Re)discover his poetry in this comprehensive collection.

Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way by Stewart F. Lane. A RAISIN IN THE SUN was the first Broadway play written by a black woman and directed by a black man. Learn more about its history and other milestones in African American theater in this oversize, lavishly illustrated volume.

The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Y. Moore. If you think the racial segregation and discrimination depicted in A RAISIN IN THE SUN is long past, think again. Moore, a journalist who grew up in a black South Side Chicago neighborhood, examines the negatives effects of decades of institutionalized racism and segregation in her community.

Clybourne Park: A Play by Bruce Norris. Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, this spin-off of A RAISIN IN THE SUN portrays the white family who sold their house to the Youngers in 1959, and 50 years on. This play is the second installment in what playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah has referred to as “The Raisin Cycle.”

Fences: A Play by August Wilson. Local playwright August Wilson explored many aspects of African American life in his work. As Hansberry did in A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Wilson deftly explores how racial discrimination complicates family dynamics in this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. There is a forthcoming film of Fences starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis expected to open in theaters December 25th.

~posted by Misha S.

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