Friday, January 14, 2011

'A Raisin in the Sun' is well worth your time

 Check out this guest review for an upclose look at Tr-PAC's latest production:

 By Eileen Faust
It’s a strong-willed family that dominates the upstairs theater in TriPAC’s latest collage series performance, “A Raisin in the Sun.”
When Lorraine Hansberry wrote the now classic play about the struggles of a black family trying to retain their pride and dreams in a world that pulls them in many directions, both good and bad, segregation was still in effect. Parts of the play mimic Hansberry’s own life, including the Younger family’s intent on moving into a new house in a better neighborhood, and the disparagement of their white employers and even the black upper classes to which they are exposed.
As the play opens, the Youngers are struggling to make their large dreams a reality in a world that repeatedly blocks their attempts at progress.
The matriarch Lena Younger, played exceptionally well by Belinda M. Wilson, is awaiting a check for $10,000 that they all hope will change their lives. But each has a dream they think the money will make real.
Benny, played by Chartel Findlater, wants to be a doctor. Her brother Walter, played by Walter DeShields, wants to set up his own business and say goodbye to a life of servitude. Walter’s wife Ruth, played by Tene Fletcher, just hopes to get out of the poor neighborhood where the family is “making do” in an apartment that is too small and too old for their needs.
 Lena just wants to give her family the good things her husband strived so hard for, but never achieved in his lifetime. But in a way he has given a chance to his family through his death, because the $10,000 comes from his life insurance.
You can’t escape the angst and the abuse the family’s dreams take in the small theater where you practically sit on the stage and the players move around the audience, and the actors in this performance don’t disappoint. They can’t afford to let their faces betray a slip out of character without being noticed by the audience, and not a single one did in the preview performance on Thursday.
This play will shock, surprise and make you laugh as the family struggles with curve balls thrown their way by white and black society alike.
The performance of this play makes it transcend a time period. And anyone suffering under the currently weak economy, who may have a lost a job or who just feels hopeless as if they can never escape their situation, will see a piece of their struggles in this play.
I attended with someone who had recently suffered a long bought of unemployment, and Walter Younger’s cries against a drawn out, never changing life with no chance of change or betterment, and Beneatha’s talk of walking in circles and never getting anywhere rang true for him.
The chance for “a little bit of sunlight,” as Lena puts it, comes in its own way for the troubled family, who focused on the wrong thing they needed to make a change for themselves — the money. What ends up really changing their world for the better is their own determination.
By the end, after following their personal and familial struggles in such an intimate setting, you could find yourself crying in joy. And this play is well worth the tears.

 “A Raisin in the Sun,” a theater classic, runs Saturday Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. and  at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for students and senior citizens, and $13 for children 12 and under.

For more information go to; or call 610-970-1199. 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home