This is the title's first appearance on the stage of the African-American-focused Crossroads. Mamie Hansberry, the late playwright's sister, is scheduled to attend the official opening-night performance on April 16.
The play debuted on Broadway in 1959, a rare African-American voice in the commercial arena at a time when the topic of Civil Rights was on the minds of many.
Eric Ruffin directs a Crossroads cast that includes Petronia Paley ("Another World") as Mama; Jimonn Cole as Walter Lee; Chantal Jean-Pierre as Ruth; Vichelle Jones as Beneatha; Gregory Barnes as Travis; Andy Prosky as Lindner; Irungu Mutu as Asagai; and Johnny Ramey as George.
According to Crossroads, "In their Southside Chicago apartment, each member of the Younger family envisions the American dream differently in their struggle for a better life. When opportunity arises in the form of a life insurance check promising both hope and uncertainty, they face choices and inevitable disappointment for some of their dreams: Mama wants to buy a house; Walter wants to invest in a liquor store; Beneatha wants to attend medical school. Walter's wife Ruth's unexpected pregnancy threatens to derail the family's dreams altogether."
Crossroads is at 7 Livingston Ave., in New Brunswick, NJ. For more information, visit www.CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org or call (732) 545-8100. *
Crossroads Theatre Company was founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson with the vision that African-American theatre is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience. As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African-American culture on the American stage. Crossroads has produced more than 40 world premieres and received the Tony Award in 1999 for Outstanding Regional Theatre in the United States.