An heroic struggle for dignity, the importance of family, and the attainment of the American Dream take center stage in “A Raisin in the Sun.” Theater To Go is bringing Lorraine Hansberry’s acclaimed drama to Kelsey Theatre Oct. 19 to 28.
The play is set in Chicago’s South Side in 1950 amidst a backdrop of racial tensions and economic disenfranchisement. Hansberry tells the story of the Youngers, three generations of an African-American family living together in a small apartment while dreaming of a better life. There is son Walter Lee, a limo driver for a wealthy white man, his wife, Ruth, his son, Travis, his sister, Benethea, and matriarch Lena. When Lena receives insurance money following the recent death of her husband, the family must decide how to spend it, bringing their various hopes and dreams into sharp contrast.
First performed on Broadway in 1959, the play’s title is a reference to the Langston Hughes poem “Harlem,” in which he wrote about what happens to dreams that are forgotten or too long delayed.
Starring as members of the Younger family are Lukata Mjumbe of Lawrenceville as Walter, Cherylanne Jones of Ewing as Lena, Naimah Beyah of Ewing as Ruth, Linwood Nelson Jr. of Newark as Travis, and Tonya Treadwell of Ewing as Beneatha. Also featured are Jamil Long of Ewing as Asagai, Shemarquez Rice of Levittown as George; Richard Kirschner of New Hope as Lindner; and Brian Christopher of Willingboro as Bobo.
Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. Dates and show times are Fridays, Oct. 19 and 26 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Oct. 20 and 27 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Oct. 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. A school performance will be held Thursday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $14 children/students. Tickets may be purchased online at kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at (609) 570-3333.