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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 29, 2000
When it opened four decades ago, Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play, "A Raisin in the Sun," heralded a number of "firsts": It was the first Broadway play written by a black woman, the first staged by a black director and the first serious drama about black life ever mounted on Broadway. Since then, the play has become such an icon, it was turned into a musical, "Raisin," in 1973, and was the subject of a sketch titled, "The Last-Mama-on-the-Couch Play," as part of George C. Wolfe's 1986 parody, "The Colored Museum."
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By Mary Johnson and For The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
Continuing to emerge as a major entertainment presence in Annapolis, Compass Rose Theater has opened its fourth season with Lorraine Hansberry's powerful 1959 drama, "A Raisin in the Sun," visiting issues of justice and equal opportunity that continue to resonate with audiences today. Groundbreaking 55 years ago as the first Broadway play written by a black female author, "A Raisin in the Sun" not only changed American theater, but offered hope for a future when the dreams of African-American families would no longer be deferred.
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NEWS
July 1, 2006
Lloyd Richards, one of the most influential figures in modern American theater and a pioneering director who brought the plays of Lorraine Hansberry and August Wilson to Broadway and championed several generations of young playwrights, died Thursday in Manhattan. It was his 87th birthday. The cause was heart failure, said his son, Scott Davenport Richards. In the 1980s, as dean of the Yale School of Drama, artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theater and of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut and a director of commercial theater on Broadway, Mr. Richards was in a position of rare power in American theater, rarer still for an African-American.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
These are hard times for PBS. Vast changes in technology and lifestyle, coupled with withering economic forces and timid leadership, threaten the existence of public television as we've known it for the past 43 years. So on the rare occasions these days when the Public Broadcasting Service does something bold and gets it mostly right, it's a cause for celebration by all those who believe that America should have at least one national channel that isn't commercial. “A Raisin in the Sun Revisited: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage,” a documentary that traces the arc of Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 drama from its setting on Chicago's South Side to Baltimore's Center Stage in 2013, is one of the bolder and better things PBS has done this TV season.
FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | April 23, 1997
In yesterday's Today section article about Center Stage's 1997-1998 season, the wrong name was given for the author of the play "Picnic." It was written by William Inge. The same story also misidentified an award won by playwright Lorraine Hansberry. She is the winner of a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award.The Sun regrets the errors.Center Stage will announce today its 1997-1998 season, which includes a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera and three edgy, challenging works that deal with issues from racial tensions to incest and were written by women -- two of whom are Maryland natives.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | January 4, 1998
"Having arguments about race relations isn't something a lot of theaters leap toward," says director Marion McClinton.Not so Center Stage, which not only doesn't shy away from plays about race but actually embraces them. For the past several seasons, the theater has staged two plays -- one-third of its line-up -- with racial themes and by black authors.The latest is Lorraine Hansberry's controversial and rarely produced drama about an imaginary African country on the brink of revolution, "Les Blancs," which opens Wednesday.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and For The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
Continuing to emerge as a major entertainment presence in Annapolis, Compass Rose Theater has opened its fourth season with Lorraine Hansberry's powerful 1959 drama, "A Raisin in the Sun," visiting issues of justice and equal opportunity that continue to resonate with audiences today. Groundbreaking 55 years ago as the first Broadway play written by a black female author, "A Raisin in the Sun" not only changed American theater, but offered hope for a future when the dreams of African-American families would no longer be deferred.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
These are hard times for PBS. Vast changes in technology and lifestyle, coupled with withering economic forces and timid leadership, threaten the existence of public television as we've known it for the past 43 years. So on the rare occasions these days when the Public Broadcasting Service does something bold and gets it mostly right, it's a cause for celebration by all those who believe that America should have at least one national channel that isn't commercial. “A Raisin in the Sun Revisited: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage,” a documentary that traces the arc of Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 drama from its setting on Chicago's South Side to Baltimore's Center Stage in 2013, is one of the bolder and better things PBS has done this TV season.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2013
In Act 1 of “Clybourne Park,” the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play by Bruce Norris receiving a potent Baltimore premiere at Center Stage, civility breaks down as white and black characters in a modest Chicago house start talking about the one thing they'd all rather avoid - race. “I am ashamed of every one of us,” says Bev, a woman determined to emit a June Cleaver neatness and brightness, even though her husband is no Ward, and her son, who served in the Korean War, is now just an unsettling memory.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2013
The multifaceted issue of race continues to cling to this country. Every sign of progress in relations seems to come with an opposite move, so that it often seems as if little has ever really, fundamentally changed since the age of Jim Crow, or even Reconstruction. There is much in this black-and-white vortex for playwrights to mine. I'm not sure if anyone will ever demonstrate that more movingly than Lorraine Hansberry did in 1957 with her incisive drama “A Raisin in the Sun,” but it sure is interesting to see what happens when others try. Two writers have taken “Raisin” as a starting point.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2013
The multifaceted issue of race continues to cling to this country. Every sign of progress in relations seems to come with an opposite move, so that it often seems as if little has ever really, fundamentally changed since the age of Jim Crow, or even Reconstruction. There is much in this black-and-white vortex for playwrights to mine. I'm not sure if anyone will ever demonstrate that more movingly than Lorraine Hansberry did in 1957 with her incisive drama “A Raisin in the Sun,” but it sure is interesting to see what happens when others try. Two writers have taken “Raisin” as a starting point.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2013
In Act 1 of “Clybourne Park,” the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play by Bruce Norris receiving a potent Baltimore premiere at Center Stage, civility breaks down as white and black characters in a modest Chicago house start talking about the one thing they'd all rather avoid - race. “I am ashamed of every one of us,” says Bev, a woman determined to emit a June Cleaver neatness and brightness, even though her husband is no Ward, and her son, who served in the Korean War, is now just an unsettling memory.
NEWS
July 1, 2006
Lloyd Richards, one of the most influential figures in modern American theater and a pioneering director who brought the plays of Lorraine Hansberry and August Wilson to Broadway and championed several generations of young playwrights, died Thursday in Manhattan. It was his 87th birthday. The cause was heart failure, said his son, Scott Davenport Richards. In the 1980s, as dean of the Yale School of Drama, artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theater and of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut and a director of commercial theater on Broadway, Mr. Richards was in a position of rare power in American theater, rarer still for an African-American.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 29, 2000
When it opened four decades ago, Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play, "A Raisin in the Sun," heralded a number of "firsts": It was the first Broadway play written by a black woman, the first staged by a black director and the first serious drama about black life ever mounted on Broadway. Since then, the play has become such an icon, it was turned into a musical, "Raisin," in 1973, and was the subject of a sketch titled, "The Last-Mama-on-the-Couch Play," as part of George C. Wolfe's 1986 parody, "The Colored Museum."
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | January 2, 2000
In Center Stage's fifth floor rehearsal hall, three actresses -- Katherine J. Smith, J. Ieasha Prime and Lizan Mitchell -- are winding themselves in and out of a yellow, 40-foot-long shawl. "Three of us like a pyramid/three friends," they say, using the immense piece of fabric to bind themselves together, then separate into the points of a huge triangle, whose outline is formed by the expanse of sinuous yellow cloth. The women are rehearsing a scene from Ntozake Shange's groundbreaking 1975 play, "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf."
NEWS
February 22, 1998
(1930-1965)was born and raised, middle class, in Chicago. Her father, Robert, was a broker and banker. Hansberry first became interested in the theater while in high school. Her interest in the theater continued to evolve during her studies at the University of Wisconsin. And she eventually studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1950 she abandoned her painting, moved to New York and took up writing, instead. She worked odd jobs while writing plays, short stories and articles for Paul Robeson's Freedom magazine.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | January 2, 2000
In Center Stage's fifth floor rehearsal hall, three actresses -- Katherine J. Smith, J. Ieasha Prime and Lizan Mitchell -- are winding themselves in and out of a yellow, 40-foot-long shawl. "Three of us like a pyramid/three friends," they say, using the immense piece of fabric to bind themselves together, then separate into the points of a huge triangle, whose outline is formed by the expanse of sinuous yellow cloth. The women are rehearsing a scene from Ntozake Shange's groundbreaking 1975 play, "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf."
NEWS
February 22, 1998
(1930-1965)was born and raised, middle class, in Chicago. Her father, Robert, was a broker and banker. Hansberry first became interested in the theater while in high school. Her interest in the theater continued to evolve during her studies at the University of Wisconsin. And she eventually studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1950 she abandoned her painting, moved to New York and took up writing, instead. She worked odd jobs while writing plays, short stories and articles for Paul Robeson's Freedom magazine.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | January 4, 1998
"Having arguments about race relations isn't something a lot of theaters leap toward," says director Marion McClinton.Not so Center Stage, which not only doesn't shy away from plays about race but actually embraces them. For the past several seasons, the theater has staged two plays -- one-third of its line-up -- with racial themes and by black authors.The latest is Lorraine Hansberry's controversial and rarely produced drama about an imaginary African country on the brink of revolution, "Les Blancs," which opens Wednesday.
FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | April 23, 1997
In yesterday's Today section article about Center Stage's 1997-1998 season, the wrong name was given for the author of the play "Picnic." It was written by William Inge. The same story also misidentified an award won by playwright Lorraine Hansberry. She is the winner of a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award.The Sun regrets the errors.Center Stage will announce today its 1997-1998 season, which includes a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera and three edgy, challenging works that deal with issues from racial tensions to incest and were written by women -- two of whom are Maryland natives.
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