Westport Country Playhouse has announced the casting for its production of "A Raisin in the Sun," running from Tuesday, Oct. 9, through Saturday, Nov. 3, at the playhouse, 25 Powers Court.
The 1959 play, directed by actress Phylicia Rashad, tells the story of the Youngers, a black family in 1950s Southside Chicago, and their quest for a piece of the American Dream. It was written by the late playwright Lorraine Hansberry.
Cast members include Gabriel Brown ("Fences," "A Soldier's Play") as George Murchison; Alvin Crawford (Broadway's "The Lion King," "Candide," "Miss Saigon," "The Buddy Holly Story") as Bobo; Lynda Gravátt (Broadway's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Doubt," "45 Seconds from Broadway," "Kind Hedley II") as Lena Younger; John Hemphill (Broadway's "Mamma Mia!" and national tour of same) as Karl Linder; and Edena Hines (Off-Broadway's "All's Well That Ends Well" at New York Shakespeare in the Park) as Beneatha Younger.
Other cast members include Billy Eugene Jones (Broadway's "The Mountaintop," "Passing Strange," "Radio Golf," "Gem of the Ocean," "A Raisin in the Sun") as Walter Lee Younger; Luka Kain ("South Pacific" on Broadway and national tour) as Travis Younger; Ade Otukoya ("Gem of the Ocean") as a moving man; Hubert Point-Du Jour ("Angels in America," "The Tempest") as Joseph Asagai; Donnell E. Smith ("A Christmas Carol") as a moving man; and Susan Kelechi Watson (the playhouse's "Twelfth Night," Broadway's "A Naked Girl on the Appian Way") as Ruth Younger.
Other plays directed by Rashad, who had starring roles on the sitcoms "The Cosby Show" and "Cosby," include Paul Stovall's "Immediate Family" and August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean." Her Broadway acting credits include "August: Osage County," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Cymbeline," "Gem of the Ocean," "A Raisin in the Sun," "Into the Woods," "Dreamgirls" and "The Wiz." TV films include "Steel Magnolias" and "A Raisin in the Sun."
"A Conversation with Director Phylicia Rashad" will be presented at a Sunday Symposium Oct. 14 following the 3 p.m. matinee performance, during which Rashad will talk about her history with "A Raisin in the Sun," as audience member, actor, director and African-American woman.
An educational initiative, "What Happens to a Dream Deferred: Lorraine Hansberry and `A Raisin in the Sun,' " will offer programs about the play's historical context, contemporary relevance, and lasting influence, throughout the production's run.
The schedule of events will be announced soon.
For information or tickets, starting at $30, call the box office at 203-227-4177, go to the playhouse or visit www.westportplayhouse.org.