A Raisin in the Sun

by LORRAINE HANSBERRY
directed by AUSTENE VAN

McGuire Proscenium Stage

An essential American play

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” In 1951, poet Langston Hughes posed these questions, and Lorraine Hansberry answered with a theatrical masterpiece that broke down racial barriers both on and off the stage. The play follows the three-generation Younger family as they grapple with different definitions of the American dream and how to achieve it. When the matriarch, Lena, buys a home in an all-white neighborhood, the Youngers are greeted by thinly veiled racism and financial pitfalls that threaten to pull the family apart and push their dreams out of reach.

Three things to know

  • Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s own family’s experience in Chicago in the 1930s, A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959 and, for the first time, hailed an all-Black principal cast, a Black playwright and a Black director.
  • The play was nominated for four Tony Awards, and Hansberry was the first Black woman to be produced on Broadway.
  • Director Austene Van is an acclaimed Twin Cities theater professional, co-founder of New Dawn Theatre Company and Producing Artistic Director at Yellow Tree Theatre. She was last seen on the Guthrie stage playing Truvy in our 2019 production of Steel Magnolias.

Health and safety

All audience members, regardless of age, must wear a mask that securely covers the nose and mouth (no bandanas, neck gaiters or face shields) when entering and inside the theater. Proof of vaccination is not required to see a performance at the Guthrie.

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Ticket prices

Prices range from $15 to $80.

Pro tip: Preview performances start at $15 (April 30 – May 5). Hurry, these go quickly! 

Venue info

A Raisin in the Sun will take place on the McGuire Proscenium Stage.

Pro tip: Can't do stairs or have a special seating request? Call the Box Office for details. 

Content advisory 

This production contains mature language and themes. Contact the Box Office for more information.

Run time 

Approximately 2 hours, 50 minutes (including intermission)

Accessibility

ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances are available on select dates.

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Lobby exhibits

Throughout the run of A Raisin in the Sun, two powerful exhibits will be on display in the Level Four lobby.

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Pre-play talks

Join us for a series of free pre-play conversations related to themes in A Raisin in the Sun. All gatherings will be held in the Guthrie’s Level Five lobby. 

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Post-play discussions

Join us after select performances for a 20-minute conversation facilitated by Director of Community Engagement Rebecca Noon and featuring members of Urban League Twin Cities. Cast members may join the discussion as they are able.

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Play guide

Want to dig deeper into this story? Download the play guide or a digital version of the program

Artists

Cast

James T. Alfred

Walter Lee

Jamecia Bennett

Mrs. Johnson

Ernest Bentley

Joseph Asagai

Darius Dotch

Moving Man

Chaundre Hall-Broomfield

George Murchison

Terry Hempleman

Karl Lindner

Tonia Jackson

Lena Younger

Joshaviah Kawala

Travis Younger

Adolphe Magloire Jr.

Travis Younger

Nubia Monks

Beneatha Younger

Darrick Mosley

Bobo

Anita Welch

Ruth Younger

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Creative Team

Lorraine Hansberry

Playwright

Austene Van

Director

Regina García

Scenic Designer

Samantha Fromm Haddow

Costume Designer

Alan C. Edwards

Lighting Designer

Jeff Lowe Bailey

Sound Designer

Taylor Barfield

Production Dramaturg

Evamarii Johnson

Voice and Dialect Coach

Annie Enneking

Fight Director

Laura Topham

Stage Manager

Lori Lundquist

Assistant Stage Manager

Jennifer Liestman

Resident Casting Director

Sasha Smith

Intimacy Coach

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In the news

Review

“The Guthrie's finely hewn staging unspools like a lyrical suite of music, with ensemble performances that are as aching as they are beautiful.”

Read the full review in the Star Tribune

Videos

Cast Conversations

Company members from A Raisin in the Sun share why this 1959 play by Lorraine Hansberry is as relevant as ever and why you’ll want to be in the audience.

“Harlem”

In his poem “Harlem,” Langston Hughes poses a series of questions about the Black experience and the American dream, which Lorraine Hansberry explores in A Raisin in the Sun. Enjoy this rendition of Hughes' poem, featuring Darius Dotch, Jamecia Bennett, Nubia Monks, Ernest Bentley, Chaundre Hall-Broomfield and Darrick Mosley.

Photos 

Nubia Monks as Beneatha Younger, Tonia Jackson as Lena Younger and James T. Alfred as Walter Lee Younger. Photo: Tom Wallace.

Nubia Monks as Beneatha Younger. Photo: Tom Wallace.

Nubia Monks as Beneatha Younger and Ernest Bentley as Joseph Asagai. Photo: Tom Wallace.

Tonia Jackson as Lena Younger and Nubia Monks as Beneatha Younger. Photo: Tom Wallace.

Tonia Jackson as Lena Younger and Jamecia Bennett as Mrs. Johnson. Photo: Tom Wallace.

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Health & Safety

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2021‒2022 Season

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