A Raisin in the Sun, a classic play by Lorraine Hansberry, at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor through December 1, 2019.
November 17, 2019: Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor is presenting a searing production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Lydia Fort. Literature live, now in its 11th season at Bay Street Theater, is staging the classic, which is celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the play’s first production on Broadway. Literature Live brings classic works to middle and high school students for free. Since the program began 11 years ago over 30,000 students have seen live theater at Bay Street, many for the first time.
A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem “Harlem” (also known as “A Dream Deferred”) by Langston Hughes. The story follows a black family, The Youngers in south Chicago, as they attempt to improve their financial circumstances with an insurance payout following the death of their father. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named it the best play of 1959 and it was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Play. The Hansberry classic is a great play and has been revived on Broadway numerous times since its opening in 1959, most recently in 2014 with Denzel Washington, and prior to that in 2008 with Sean Combs. The play has also been made into a movie with Sidney Poitier, the original star, and has been produced for television and radio.
The cast at Bay Street includes: Chauncy Thomas (Bay Street’s The Great Gatsby, Madam Secretary) as Walter Lee Younger; Cooki Winborn(Bay Street’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Premature) as Lena Younger; Erin Margaret Pettigrew (Manhattan Theater Club, New York Theater Workshop) as Ruth Younger; Cassia Thompson (Romeo & Juliet, Our Town) as Beneatha Younger; Jonathan Farrington (Step Show: The Musical, Bayard: A New Musical) as Joseph Asagai; Michael Chenevert (Godfather of Harlem, Interference) as George Murchison; Justin Jorrell (The Space Between, Roy Wood Jr.: Snitch Cop) as Bobo; Joe Pallister(Bay Street’s Off Mice and Men, To Kill A Mockingbird) as Karl Lindner, and Kaden Amari Anderson(Show Me A Hero, Sesame Street Special) as Travis Younger.
The design and creative team include Lydia Fort (Director); Mike Billings (Set & Lighting Designer); Meghan O’Beirne (Costume Designer); Brian Staton (Sound Designer); Meg Murphy(Hair & Makeup Designer); Courtney Alberto (Props Designer); Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett (Dramaturg); Christine Lemme (Production Stage Manager); and Arthur Atkinson (Assistant Stage Manager).Lydia Fort has directed at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Diversionary Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, Women’s Project Theatre, Women Center Stage, Urban Stages, McCarter Theatre YouthInk! Festival, New Federal Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, freeFall Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Planet Connections Festivity (where she was honored with the 2013 Best Director and Greener Planet Awards) as well as other festivals including the New Black Fest, 48 Hours in Harlem, Fire This Time Festival, and SheWrites. She was a Time Warner Foundation Fellow of the 2012-2014 Lab at Women’s Project Theater, a TCG New Generations Future Leaders Grantee, New York Theatre Workshop Directing Fellow, and Drama League Directing Fellow. Lydia received a BA from New York University and an MFA in Directing from the University of Washington. She is an Assistant Professor at Emory University where she teaches directing, acting, African American theatre, and eco-theatre.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN is produced under Bay Street’s Literature Live! Umbrella, allowing all student school groups and their administrators to attend for free. Funding support for the program is provided by Century Arts Foundation, the Bay Street Theater Board of Trustees, The Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Colgate-Palmolive, Dana Foundation, Fridolin Charitable Trust, Theatre Venture, Inc., Town of Southampton, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Irving Stern Foundation, the Sunny and Abe Rosenberg Foundation, the Campbell Family Foundation and many generous individuals. Sponsors: AARP Long Island, Berry & Co., Grenning Gallery, and Sag Harbor Books. Media sponsors: Dan’s Papers, WBAZ, WEHM, and WLNG.
Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.
Public performances are Thursday-Saturday, November 14-16 at 7pm plus Saturday matinee at 2pm, November 21-23 at 7pm plus Saturday 2pm matinee and Thanksgiving weekend with 5 shows: Friday, November 29 at 2pm & 7pm, Saturday November 30 at 2 & 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are on sale now and available online at baystreet.org, or by calling the Box Office at 631-725-9500. The Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday 11 am – 5 pm.
Production Photos: Michael Heller
Photography Opening Night Barry Gordin