Sterling Playmakers’ first show of 2023 is the American masterwork, A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, in honor of Black History Month (February) and International Women’s Month (March).
To A Raisin in the Sun’s director Lauren Baker, this play is more than an American landmark — more than a triumph for Black playwrights — she owes her very existence to it. Once upon a time in the 70’s, in an all-Black community theatre group in Baltimore City, her parents met during auditions for A Raisin in the Sun. Her mother Shirlyn, an African Studies minor in college, was the director, and her father Calvin was cast in the play. They fell in love and married. Lauren followed in her parents’ theater tradition, and she’s now not only a performer but a member of Sterling Playmakers’ Board of Directors.
When asked whether she would like to direct a play, it was natural to think of Raisin. “I’ve grown up with this play,” Lauren Baker says. “My parents taught me from a young age the importance of African American culture, arts, history … everything.” Lauren’s admiration for the author Lorraine Hansberry has only grown over the years: “Many female playwrights published under male aliases, but not only was Hansberry a woman, she was a Black woman — that was unheard of at the time.” To honor both identities, Black and female, Lauren chose the performance dates in Black History Month and International Women’s Month.
Now it’s Lauren’s turn to bring this beautiful classic to our stage for the next generation.
A Raisin in the Sun is all about dreamers … On the South Side of Chicago, three generations of the loving Younger family live in one small, crowded apartment. The sudden death of patriarch Big Walter and his substantial life insurance payout are the catalyst for new dreams: but each family member has divergent, life-changing dreams for that money.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Lauren Baker
Produced by Ashley Williams
February 24-26, March 3-5
Theater at Seneca Ridge Middle School
Tickets are available here: https://www.sterlingplaymakers.org/tickets