A Raisin in the Sun is playing at TPAC’s Andrew Johnson Theater in Nashville, beginning March 23 and continuing through April 22, 2017. This American classic was first produced in 1959, and was a pioneering work – the first play written by an African American woman to appear on Broadway. For more about the playwright, see the Women’s History Month Spotlight on Lorraine Vivian Hansberry, click HERE.
NFL legend, former Tennessee Titan, entrepreneur, and all-around Renaissance Man, Eddie George, stars in Nashville Repertory Theatre‘s production of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”
Hansberry’s play, which debuted on Broadway in 1959, tells the story of three generations of the Younger family who live in a “rat trap” of an apartment in Chicago. With the passing of the patriarch, a life insurance check of significant value arrives, and the family struggles to decided how best to spend the money for the benefit of the family.
“A Raisin in the Sun” is an insightful American classic which made an immediate historical impact as the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. Other firsts for the play include being directed by Broadway’s first black director, Lloyd Richards. It won the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play, making Hansberry the youngest American, first woman, and first African American to win the award.
“Playwright Lorraine Hansberry was an amazing woman,” says director René D. Copeland. “During her childhood, her family moved to a white neighborhood in Chicago in violation of the segregation laws, creating a case that went to the Supreme Court. Her commitment to social activism and intellectual rigor made her uniquely attuned to illuminating the human condition through her art.”
“’A Raisin in the Sun’ is an iconic play that still resonates today,” says actor Eddie George who plays the pivotal role of Walter Lee. “I look forward to bringing my own interpretation of who Walter Lee is during this period of time. The play goes through the frustrations of being an African-American male and who he wants to be during that time in American history. I’m excited to be a part of that.”
The role of Walter Lee has been performed on stage and screen by notable actors such as Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Denzel Washington, and Sean “Puffy” Combs.
George has previously performed with Nashville Rep in “The Whipping Man” in 2015, as well as with numerous other Nashville theatres, and he recently appeared as Billy Flynn in both the Broadway and touring productions of “Chicago.” In addition, George serves as a member of the TPAC Board of Directors and TPAC’s arts education advocate.
He joins fellow cast members Matthew Carlton, Brandon Hirsch, Lauren F. Jones, James Rudolph, Tamiko Robinson Steele, and Jackie Welch. Russell Jacquese Acklin, Jr. and Zechariah Brown share the role of young “Travis.” TSU students Antwan Harris, Marquan Martin, and Cheldrick Wooding round out the cast.
The production is directed by Nashville Rep’s Producing Artistic Director, René D. Copeland with Tennessee State University’s Marc R. Payne as assistant director. Designers are Gary C. Hoff (Scenic Designer), Trish Clark (Costume Designer), Evelyn Thornhill (Props Master), and Phillip Franck (Lighting and Sound Designer).
Tickets are $25 for previews (March 23 and 24), and start at $45 for the remainder of the show’s run. For showtimes and tickets: Tickets can be purchased online at NashvilleRep.org, TPAC.org, or by calling the Box Office at 615-782-4040. Note the Late Seating Policy: There is no late seating in Johnson Theater for this event. Late arrivals will be seated after intermission.