Cast includes Francois Battiste, Toussaint Battiste,
John Clay III, Calvin Dutton, Mister Fitzgerald, Perri Gaffney,
Skyler Gallun, Paige Gilbert, Mandi Masden, Camden McKinnon, Jesse Pennington, Tonya Pinkins, and N’yomi Stewart
The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director and Patrick Willingham, Executive Director) announced casting today for the upcoming revival of A RAISIN IN THE SUN written by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Tony Award nominee Robert O’Hara. This revival marks Hansberry’s Public Theater debut as the theater’s Astor Place home celebrates its 55th season producing work by groundbreaking artists. The production will begin performances in the Newman Theater with a Joseph Papp Free Performance on Tuesday, September 27 and will run through Sunday, November 6. A RAISIN IN THE SUN will officially open on Wednesday, October 19.
The cast of A RAISIN IN THE SUN will include Francois Battiste (Walter Lee Younger), Toussaint Battiste (Travis Younger alternate), John Clay III (Joseph Asagai), Calvin Dutton (Bobo), Mister Fitzgerald (George Murchison), Perri Gaffney (Mrs. Johnson), Skyler Gallun (Understudy), Paige Gilbert (Beneatha Younger), Mandi Masden (Ruth Younger), Camden McKinnon (Travis Younger alternate), Jesse Pennington (Karl Lindner), Tonya Pinkins (Lena Younger), and N’yomi Stewart (Understudy).
Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN comes to Astor Place this fall in Hansberry’s Public Theater debut. Directed by Tony Award nominee Robert O’Hara, this fresh look at a classic proves to be as provocative and powerful today as it was in 1959. Lena Younger has decided to use her late husband’s life insurance to move her family out of their cramped apartment on Chicago’s South Side. Her son, Walter Lee, has other ideas. This innovative new production of an American classic fearlessly interrogates the American dream in the face of racial and economic strife.
“I am filled with curiosity and excitement by what this tremendous cast that The Public has assembled will bring to a play I consider simply the best ever written,” said director Robert O’Hara. He continues, “having them all with me and our brilliant designers in this exploration of this essential classic and doing it at The Public Theater where I debuted as a writer and director is a dream come true. A dream that I didn’t have to defer because there were works like A Raisin in the Sun that I held as my guiding light and which blazed the path for me and countless others.”
The production will feature scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Karen Perry, lighting design by Alex Jainchill, sound design by Elisheba Ittoop, sound system design by Will Pickens, hair and wig design by Nikiya Mathis, video design by Brittany Bland, prop management by Claire M. Kavanah, fight and intimacy direction by Teniece Divya Johnson, and movement direction by Rickey Tripp. Clarissa Marie Ligon will serve as production stage manager and Andie Burns will serve as stage manager.
In addition to A RAISIN IN THE SUN, The Public’s 55th anniversary season at Astor Place will also include Elevator Repair Service’s BALDWIN AND BUCKLEY AT CAMBRIDGE in the Anspacher Theater. The production is a profoundly relevant presentation of the legendary debate between virtuosic writer James Baldwin and father of American conservatism William F. Buckley, Jr. In October, WHERE WE BELONGbegins in the LuEsther Hall—an intimate and exhilarating solo piece written and performed by Madeline Sayet and directed by Mei Ann Teo, co-produced with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with Folger Shakespeare Library. Sayet’s story is a celebration of the indigenous community and an in-depth exploration of colonialism that asks us what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world. The Public will close out the fall in Joe’s Pub with the World Premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks’ PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR, both a personal story of one family’s daily lives, as well as a sweeping account of all we faced as a city, a nation, and a global community. Working in collaboration with Niegel Smith as director, Parks’ groundbreaking new work is brimming with humanity, bears witness to what we’ve experienced, and offers inspiration as we look ahead.
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