‘A Raisin in the Sun’ comes to the Smith Center


“A Raisin In the Sun,” is a play that changed American theater forever, according to the New York Times, and now the groundbreaking play is coming to the Smith Center for Performing Art.  It’s all in honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. week of celebration.

The play originally produced in 1959,  revolves around a poor African American family living on the south side of Chicago and their opportunity to escape from poverty when they receive a life insurance check.

“A Raisin In the Sun” was written by Lorraine Hansberry, an African American writer who struggled with life herself.

“It was revolutionary to see African Americans on stage in a straight play; not only a straight play but a straight play that was so powerful for its time,” said Torrey Russel, the founder and artistic director of “Broadway in the Hood.

Russel, says it’s absolutely beautiful to be able to present “A Raisin In the Sun,” with the climate of the country.

“Everyone that comes to see “A Raisin In the Sun,” will leave seeing themselves in one of the characters, whether it’s the mother who is fighting her heart to keep her family together or the husband or son who’s dealing with the pressures of life,” Russel said.

A “Raisin In the Sun” known to be thought-provoking and emotional will be playing at the Smith Center The weekend of Jan. 12.

“It’s important to remember how many people struggled; how many people fought for us to be able to have the freedom that we have today,” said Russel.

As for the actors, they also remember how far they’ve all come and still have left to go.

“When I play this role, what I want each mother to do is to understand that sometimes it is ok to let your son fly. Now, whether he crashes — that is totally up to him,” said China Hudson, plays Lena, the Mother in “A Raisin In the Sun.”

“For me, my message is to continue to dream and regardless of whatever those obstacles that you may have, I guess define that way of being able to overcome those obstacles,” said John Joseph, plays Walter Lee in “A Raisin In the Sun.”

The play is a story that shows the true meaning of creating one’s own happiness. 

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