The Nelda K. Balch Festival Playhouse will present the Pulitzer Prize winning drama “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry from Feb. 23-26 at the Playhouse, 129 Thompson St., in Kalamazoo. Karen Berthel will direct the show in keeping with the season’s theme, “Broadway Firsts: Stories of ‘Outsider’ Cultural Landmarks in American Theatre.”
The play follows the Youngers, a poor African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. Lena, the family’s matriarch, receives an insurance check when her husband dies. Lena wants to use the money to buy a house. However, her son, Walter, would rather quit his job as a chauffeur and invest the money in a liquor store. The family’s tragedy is that everyone fails to see how achieving their individual dreams might cost others theirs.
Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, and was the first with a black director. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named it the best play of 1959. Kalamazoo College students Quincy Crosby ’17, Tricia LaCaze ’18, Shown Powell ’18 and Donovan Williams ’20 are among the actors featured.
The shows start at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-25 and 2 p.m. Feb. 26. Kalamazoo College students, faculty and staff are admitted free with their school ID. The general public may call the Playhouse box office at 269-337-7333 for tickets. Reservations are encouraged.
For more information, visit the Festival Playhouse website at kzoo.edu/festivalplayhouse.