CATA Presents A Raisin in the Sun
This year at Central Academy of Technology & Arts, students from the theatre department will come together to perform A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The production will feature CATA’s first ever theatrical partnership with a local Union County elementary as the character of Travis in A Raisin in the Sun will be played by Malik Logan, a 5th grader from nearby Benton Heights.
Written in 1957, A Raisin in the Sun follows the life of an African American family, the Youngers, living in Chicago in the 1950s for a few weeks. Just having received a life insurance policy check for $10,000 from the late Mr. Youngers, the rest of the family ponders on what to do with the money. Mama (played by Iyanna Brooks) wants to buy a house to fulfil the dream she had with Mr. Youngers before he died, Mama’s son, Walter Lee (played by Aamar Culbreth), wants to use the money to purchase a liquor store with a friend, Walter’s wife, Ruth (played by Caitlyn Brown), agrees with Mama and wants a chance to build a new life with opportunity with Walter and their son, Travis, and, finally, Walter’s sister, Beneatha (played by Zelda Gyampoh), wishes to use the money for her medical school tuition.
However, once the Youngers’ future neighbors find out they are moving into a predominantly white neighborhood, Clybourne Park Improvement Association tries to bribe the Youngers into moving out. Due to this common occurrence during the 1950s, the Youngers must stick together and believe that they can no longer put off their dreams if they want a happy life.
Since its debut in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun has had many reopenings both on stage and on screen with new actors and directors stepping up to tackle the riveting show. One of the most recent and well known stages that A Raisin in the Sun performed on was in the 2014 Tony Awards where it won Best Revival of a Play.
“The show is like poetry. Every single line is a piece of poetry and it’s a show that keeps you captivated,” Zelda Gyampoh shares why she thinks A Raisin in the Sun is such a popular show throughout history.
Iyanna Brooks also shares why this show has such a big impact on people of color at CATA and why it is important that we are now doing it, “I think that getting the opportunity to audition and be in a play that is only people of color has really boosted our confidence in ourselves. [Ms. Fairchild] has the confidence that we can do [the show] and we have the confidence that we can prove to the school just because you’re a person of color doesn’t mean you should be overlooked for cast.”
“I think everyone should come see the show because it’s the most exciting and moving plays that I’ve ever been a part of,” Aamar Culbreth comments on why everyone should come out and see A Raisin in the Sun.
Central Academy will be performing A Raisin in the Sun on May 31st and June 1st at 7:00 pm.
Aamar-Malik Culbreth (CATA Senior) as Walter Lee Younger and Caitlyn Brown (CATA Senior) as Ruth Younger in CATA's production of A Raisin in the Sun. Photos by Kayden Tucker @kaydentphotos