The Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title was taken from the Langston Hughes poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") for a story based on a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. A Raisin in the Sun was made into a film (1961), a musical (1973), and a TV film (1989), and a spinoff production of Hansberry's classic, "Clybourne Park," won both a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Now, "Clybourne Park" comes to UGA in a new University Theatre production beginning September 25:
Directed by Paul Pierce, State Theater of Georgia artistic director and a UGA alumnus, this satiric comedy about race and real estate follows one house over 50 years—from the era of segregation to gentrification.
Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, an Olivier Award and the Pulitzer Prize, the play begins in 1958 with homeowners learning that a black family has bought a house in their all-white neighborhood in Chicago, depicting events immediately following those in the classic play. Act two takes the audience to the same house in 2008 as a white family is buying and renovating the house, now in a predominantly black neighborhood, and the roles are reversed.
This reversal provides humor while raising the racial issues associated with historical redlining, fair housing policies and contemporary gentrification. The same actors play the characters in both act one and act two, emphasizing the connection between events half a century apart. Costumes and the décor of the home change drastically while the people and situations remain reminiscent despite the reversal of roles.
Performances will be held Sept. 25-26 and 30 and Oct. 1-3 at 8 p.m. with matinees Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building's Cellar Theatre.
We're glad to welcome Pierce back to campus, and kudos to University Theatre for bringing back a renowned alum to work with our current students. Get your tickets here.