Governors State University’s Theatre & Performance Studies Program Presents ‘A Raisin in the Sun’

University Park, Ill. –(ENEWSPF)—October 14, 2014. The classic Lorraine Hansberry play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” comes to life on stage at Governors State University’s Center for Performing Arts on November 6 & 8 at 7:30 p.m. and November 9 at 2 p.m.

This is the fourth production by the new Theatre & Performance Studies (T.A.P.S.) program, recently approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education as a Bachelor’s Degree; the only such degree combining the two disciplines at a state university in Illinois. Having previously staged works of poetry (Anne Sexton’s “Transformations”), musical theatre (“A…My Name is Alice”), and a docudrama (“Still Life”), T.A.P.S. is now excited to present this award-winning classic.

Why another production of “A Raisin in the Sun”? Because the story still matters. Since Raisin’s 1959 Broadway debut, racial discrimination has shifted, but in this historic year marking the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the story could not be more relevant. Director, Dr. Patrick Santoro, who heads the program, said of the production “Raisin is one of the most groundbreaking plays of the 20th century; it is a literary masterpiece, a significant work of activism. Raisin is a production that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.”

The story is set in Chicago’s South side in the 1950s. When an African-American family plans to leave their crowded apartment for a home in Clybourne Park, their efforts to make a better life for themselves are thwarted by racial intolerance. This award-winning play spotlights divisions that still plague Chicago more than 60 years after its premiere.

A Raisin in the Sun was a revolutionary work for its time. Hansberry creates in the Younger family one of the first honest depictions of a black family on an American stage, in an age when predominantly black audiences simply did not exist. Before this play, African-American roles, usually small and comedic, largely employed ethnic stereotypes. Hansberry, however, shows an entire black family in a realistic light, one that is far from comedic. She broaches important issues and conflicts, such as poverty, discrimination, and the construction of African-American racial identity.

Meet the Cast

“This is one hardworking, talented cast and crew that serves Lorraine Hansberry’s words well.” Dr. Patrick Santoro.

Cherish Brown, as  Beneatha Younger (sister of Walter Lee)                                  

Dennis C. Dent, Jr., as Walter Lee Younger (son, a Chauffer)                                

Cheryl Frazier, as  Lena “Mama” Younger (Walter and Beneatha’s mother)                     

Cordaro Johnson, as Asagai   (a Nigerian student in love with Beneatha)                        

Triston Price, as Travis Younger (Walter and Ruth’s son)                             

Michael DePriest Reed, as Bobo (one of Walter’s business partners)                              

Janiece K. Russell, as Ruth Younger (wife of Walter Lee)                             

Markas Sergalis, as Karl Lindner (representative of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association)                        

Jordan Walters, as George (a suitor of Beneatha’s)     

Tickets are $15 and $10 for students. Contact the box office at or call (708) 235-2222. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances. Performances at Center for Performing Arts are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

For information on the Theatre and Performance Studies Program, contact Dr. Patrick Santoro at [email protected] or 708-235-2842 ext. 2842.

Governors State University is located at 1 University Parkway in University Park.