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Perseverance opens classic drama 'A Raisin in the Sun'

Posted: March 8, 2012 - 1:01am
Ericka Lee and Keith Patrick McCoy play a married couple in Perseverance Theatre's production of Lorraine Hansberry's "Raisin in the Sun" starting this weekend.  Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Ericka Lee and Keith Patrick McCoy play a married couple in Perseverance Theatre's production of Lorraine Hansberry's "Raisin in the Sun" starting this weekend.

Perseverance Theatre’s 33rd season continues with a classic American family drama, “A Raisin in the Sun,” opening Friday.

Written by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by New York artist Jade King Carroll, the story traces the experience of a black family in Chicago, who are rocked by conflict after receiving a $10,000 life insurance check. As they try to figure out their next move, each member of the family must face the possibitlity of losing of what they value most.

The title of the play comes from a poem by Langston Hughes, “A Dream Deferred,” whose opening lines read, “What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?”

“A Raisin in the Sun” was the first play produced on Broadway by an African American woman writer and an African American director.

Perseverance Artistic Director Art Rotch, who previously worked with director Carroll in Philadelphia, said he found the story very applicatable to an Alaska audience.

“‘Raisin in the Sun’ will look like ‘Raisin in the Sun’ set in 1951, but the themes of the play feel very timely for Alaska right now,” Rotch said earlier this season. “It’s really about, ‘Can our children achieve what our parents left us, or is our standard of living going to decline?’ all expressed in who gets to own what piece of land — that’s an Alaska story. And a great play.”

This production features local Juneau actors Ericka Lee, Ben Brown, Lance Mitchell, Chris Talley, DeAndre Howard King and Michael Patterson.

The cast also includes five professional actors from the lower 48: Lizan Mitchell, Shannon Dorsey, Jamil Mangan, Corey Spruill and Keith McCoy.

“A Raisin in the Sun” runs from March 9 to April 1. For tickets, pricing, or more information, call Perseverance Theatre at 463-TIXS or visit www.perseverancetheatre.org.

Tickets are also available at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center and Hearthside Books.

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