theater

Rutgers Theater Company presents "A Raisin in the Sun" Nov. 30-Dec. 9

Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly’s Last Jam, Play On, and Caroline, or Change) stars in the Rutgers Theater Company production of A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The show, a collaborative effort between students and professionals, runs from November 30 to December 9, 2012 at the Philip J. Levin Theater. Obie Award recipient Leah C. Gardiner directs.

A Raisin in the Sun, whose title is inspired by the book-length poem Montage of a Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes, follows the experiences of the Youngers, a black family seeking self-worth in the fabric of the American Dream in Chicago during the 1950s. The Youngers’ lives are turned upside-down when Mama Younger, fulfilling a lifelong dream of owning a home, buys a house in an all-white neighborhood. A representative from the neighborhood tries to buy the Youngers out to save the community from racial tension.

Five decades after the play’s premiere on Broadway, A Raisin in the Sun remains relevant today.

“Yes. We’ve made progress in American race relations,” says Gardiner. But she says that there is still plenty of work to be done. Gardiner believes that “there is [a] stagnation in the underbelly of our nation when it comes to race.”

And all Americans, Gardiner reminds us, share a complex racial history: “It’s important for us to recognize that race in this country will always be a major component of our DNA. And that’s what makes it such a beautiful play.”

Learn more about the 2012 Rutgers Theater Company season.

A Raisin in the Sun runs from Friday, November 30, through Sunday, December 9. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Philip J. Levin Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, and to learn more about the 2012-2013 season at Mason Gross Performing Arts Center and Galleries, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu, or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511.