Look Back at the Original Broadway Production of A Raisin in the Sun in Celebration of Lorraine Hansberry

Photos   Look Back at the Original Broadway Production of A Raisin in the Sun in Celebration of Lorraine Hansberry
 
The playwright, known for her seminal drama about the experiences of a black family in Chicago, was born May 19, 1930.
A Raisin in the Sun_Broadway_Production Photos_1959_X_HR
Cast of Raisin in the Sun Friedman-Abeles/New York Public Library

Lorraine Hansberry was born May 19, 1930. The writer, most known for seminal drama A Raisin in the Sun, would go on to become the first African-American writer to win the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award.

In A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry tells the story of the experiences of a black family in Chicago. The Broadway production opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre March 11, 1959, starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, Lonne Elder III, John Feilder, Ed Hall, and Glynn Turman. The play was the first by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway and as well as the first with an African-American director. The production was transferred to the Belasco Theatre in October 1959 before eventually closing on June 25, 1960.

Flip through photos of the production below:

Poitier and McNeil were both nominated for Tony Awards for the performances; the play also received Tony nominations for Best Play and for Lloyd Richards' direction.

In addition to a 1961 film adaptation, the play has since been revived on Broadway twice—once in 2004, in a production starring Sean Combs and Audra McDonald, and again in the Tony-winning 2014 revival, which starred Denzel Washington and Sophie Okonedo.

Click Here to Shop for Theatre
Merchandise in the Playbill Store
 
Recommended Reading:
 X

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting playbill.com with your ad blocker.
Thank you!