Hansberry became the first African-American woman to write a play produced on Broadway when her landmark drama A Raisin in the Sun opened March 11, 1959, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Sidney Poitier starred as Walter Lee Younger opposite Claudia McNeil as Lena Younger and Ruby Dee as Ruth Younger.
New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson called the play "honest" and applauded the "bold and stirring performance" from the cast: "A Raisin in the Sun has vigor as well as veracity," he wrote, "and is likely to destroy the complacency of any one who sees it."
Raisin went on to play 530 performances and won the 1959 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. The play was later adapted into a 1961 film featuring most of the original Broadway cast.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.