Sophomores View “A Raisin in the Sun” at Westport Country Playhouse

By Carly Colon ’15

On October 23, the sophomores in Mrs. Acerbo’s English class had the opportunity to see the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry at the Westport Country Playhouse. The author of this play, Lorraine Hansberry, is an African American writer who attended college at the University of Wisconsin for two years, which led her to be interested in the arts and made her peruse studies at numerous other schools.

She then moved to New York City and started working at Freedom, an African American newspaper, where she wrote articles on various topics such as civil rights, portrayal of African Americans in the media and African history. She began writing A Raisin in the Sun in her mid- twenties. It took the producer, Philip Rose, more than a year to raise money for rehearsals. They could not find a Broadway theater to run air it, so they sent the play to New Haven and Philadelphia to run tryouts. Soon after the play was offered at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York and opened on Broadway in March 1959. It ran for almost two years.

The play A Raisin in the Sun is about an African American working- class family who was trying to peruse nothing other than the American Dream. The play portrays the various challenges faced by African Americans in the 1950’s. In this play, the family of five receives a well-awaited $10,000 insurance check. Each member of the family wants to spend the money a different way. This causes a lot of conflict between the characters because Walter (played by Billy Eugene Jones) wants to spend it on an investment in a liquor store and Beneatha (played by Edena Hines) would like some if it to go towards college because she dreams of becoming a doctor. As for Mama (played by Lynda Gravátt), she is not too sure what she wants to spend it on.

Until, she decides to spend some of it on a house in a white neighborhood. The people already living in the neighborhood are not comfortable living with a family of African Americans so they try to bribe the Younger family not to move in with more money than they paid for the house. The Youngers end up moving in anyway, but on the way to moving, there were many obstacles. The family had to work together even in the toughest of times to overcome them.

The cast at the Westport Country Playhouse did an amazing job bringing the play to life. The set was very realistic and the cast did a great job using the same set through out the whole play. The entire audience was tuned in to every little thing happening and would not stop talking about it afterwards. The employees at the Westport Country Playhouse were so friendly and welcoming. Overall, the play was definitely worth seeing!

9 Responses to Sophomores View “A Raisin in the Sun” at Westport Country Playhouse

  1. Rachel Ameer says:

    I saw the play too and it was nice to read more information on the author of it. I agree that they did very well in keeping us interested in the story “A Raisin In The Sun”. I enjoyed it as well!

  2. Monica Moussavian says:

    The play in westport was a great way to get a different view from the novel. The characters were entertaining and I enjoyed it very much.

  3. Rachel Ruiz says:

    I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to see the play in Wesport. Not only was it eye opening to see the play that we read in class come to life by the help of a great cast, it was also entertaining to watch, and gave me a better understanding of the play.

  4. Carrie Foito says:

    I too got the opportunity to see the play in Westport. I thought it was really good and it gave me an even better feel for what the play was about. I also thought it was interesting being able to compare the play to the movie or the book.

  5. Carrie O'Connell says:

    I really enjoyed going to see this play. I liked it when we read it and then when we actually saw it, it showed the characters as they would be.

  6. Joe Mancuso says:

    The play was well acted and was executed perfectly. The actors are talented They played their characters perfectly and were similar to the ones in the book and movie. Most of the events took place in the play that happened in the other formats.

  7. Jacob Rodriguez says:

    I’m glad that we were able to go to this because I thought it was a good experience. I think the cast did a really good job with showing emotion.

    • Tadgh McGarty says:

      I agree, the play was a very good experience. It gave us more for comparing the similarities and differences between the play, movie and book. Also, the characters did a very good job at expressing emotions, you could tell when they were angry, or upset, where as in the book, it was harder to tell how the characters were reacting to situations, and all the characters had different ways to reacting to them.

  8. Jon Woodward says:

    I was happy to be a part of the trip to the Westport Country Playhouse. This visual representation gave me a better look on the story. When characters were angry, the play here really showed it. Being able to see the story unfold really helped me understand the story, and parts I was confused about.

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