HFC Presents “A Raisin In The Sun” Throughout August

Release Date

HFC will present Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” beginning Thursday, Aug. 6, at 8 p.m. in the Adray Auditorium, located in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the main campus. The performances for “Raisin” are as follows:

  • Thursday, Aug. 6, at 8 p.m.;
  • Friday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m.;
  • Saturday, Aug. 8, at 8 p.m.;
  • Sunday, Aug. 9, at 2 p.m.;
  • Thursday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m.;
  • Friday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m.;
  • Saturday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m.; and
  • Sunday, Aug. 16, at 2 p.m.

“Raisin” follows the story of the Younger family, an African-American family living in poverty in a dilapidated two-bedroom apartment on the South Side of Chicago. The patriarch, Walter, barely makes ends meet as a limo driver. His wife, Ruth, is content with their lot in life. However, Walter is not; he wants to make a better life for his family – which includes son Travis, mother Lena and sister Beneatha – outside of the Windy City. Walter’s desire to become wealthy leads to conflicts with his family, particularly his mother who received a $10,000 life insurance check.

Debuting on the stage in 1959 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway in New York City, “Raisin” was a watershed moment in American theater. It wasn’t destined for success—Hansberry had difficulty finding financial backing for the play at a time when theater audiences were predominantly white, among other issues.

However, “Raisin” was an immediate success, making it the first-ever Broadway play written by an African-American woman. What makes Hansberry’s writing remarkable is not only her accuracy in capturing the racial dynamics of her time, but her foresight in predicting the direction black culture would take in subsequent years.

The original Broadway cast consisted most prominently of Oscar winner Sidney Poitier (“Lillies of the Field”), Oscar nominee Ruby Dee (“American Gangster”) and Oscar winner Louis Gossett, Jr. (“An Officer and a Gentlemen”). In fact, the original Broadway cast reunited and starred in the 1961 movie adaptation. In 1989, another adaptation was made for television starring Danny Glover of the “Lethal Weapon” movie franchise, which was nominated for three Emmy Awards.

“Raisin” is directed by HFC faculty member Christopher Bremer. In 2005, he earned selection as one of the five best directors in metro Detroit by the Detroit Free Press. He has earned nominations for best director by the Free Press, The Oakland Press and Between the Lines in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010. He has directed shows for HFC; the Jewish Ensemble Theatre (JET) in West Bloomfield, Mich. (where he serves as the executive director); Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester Hills, Mich.; University of Detroit Mercy (UDM); as well as community theatres throughout the Metro Detroit area. He has also performed in Italy, Greece, and 44 states in the U.S.

Bremer directed the winter 2013 production of HFC’s “Ruined” and earned nomination for The Wilde Award (Detroit) for his comedy, “Moonlight and Magnolias,” at the JET. Bremer directed the world premiere of the play, “Sugarhill,” for the JET this past April. “Sugarhill” receive nominations for three Encore Michigan Wilde Awards, including best production of a drama.

Tickets for HFC’s production of “A Raisin in the Sun” are $12 for the general public and $10 for HFC faculty/staff and students. Tickets are available online at http://theatre.hfcc.edu. For further information, call 313-845-9817.

Cast and Crew:

Director: Christopher Bremer Scenic Designer: Gerry Dzublinski Lighting Designer: Scott Ross Costume Designer: Judith Fletcher Sound Designer: Matt Van Houten Stage Manager: Joshua Neilson Artistic/Producing Director: George Popovich

Cast of Characters Walter Lee Younger: London Johnson Ruth Younger: Anita Banks Travis Younger: Edward Austin Lena Younger: Gloria Niles Beneatha Younger: Taylor Wilson Joseph Asagai: Marcellus Hogan George Murchison: Terence Wilburn Bobo: Michael Cochran Karl Linder: Matt Van Houten Social Science, Arts and Fitness Division Associate Dean: Randall Knight Academic Coordinators: Carol Sloan, Eric Rader Administrative Assistants: Tom Berryman, Linda Prisza Director of Theatre: Dr. George Popovich

Artistic Staff Stage Manager: Joshua Neilson Technical Director: Gerry Dzublinski Carpenters: Luv Smith-Castleberry, Angie Lai, Joshua Neilson,
Angie Lai Scenic Artist: Gerry Dzublinski Scenic Painters: Gerry Dzublinski, Angie Lai, Joshua Neilson Brittany Reed, Luv Smith-Castleberry Master Electrician: Scott Ross Assistant Stage Manager: Terence Wilburn Master Carpenter: Christoher Bremer Electricians: Anita Holsey-Banks Props: Gerry Dzublinski, Joshua Neilson, Angie Lai Costume Crew: Anita Holsey-Banks, Brittany Reed Poster and Program Design: Ashleigh Martin Printing: HFC Graphics Publicity: Dr. George, Gary Erwin, Michael Cochran, The Cast and Crew, and HFC Graphics, Angie Lai. Program: Dr. George Popovich, Angie Lai Advance Ticket Sales: Dr. George Popovich Lobby Display: Angie Lai

Running Crew Sound Board Light Operator: Angie Lai Light Board Operator: Joshua Neilson Props: Terence Wilburn Wardrobe: Anita Holsey-Banks, Brittany Reed

Box Office House Managers: Christopher Bremer Box Office Manager: Matt Van Houten Ushers: Mike Ross, Brighid Driscoll

Special Thanks to: The Jewish Ensemble Theater, WHFR, Mary Bremer and Arthur Beer and Dr. George Popovich.