Muskegon Civic Theatre has scheduled auditions for its production of the drama “A Raisin in the Sun.”
Tryouts will be 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12. They will be held in Johnson Hall on the third floor of the Hilt Building portion of the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western in downtown Muskegon. If necessary, callbacks will be 7 p.m. Dec. 13. Director Janette Casson will have auditionees read from the script.
Rehearsals will begin Jan. 2, 2018, and run 7-10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The show will run Feb. 16 through March 4, 2018, in the downtown Beardsley Theater.
An iconic American play written by Lorraine Hansberry, “A Raisin in the Sun” is set on the south side of Chicago. It concerns three generations of the Youngers, an African American family whose members dream of bettering their lives and moving to a better neighborhood. The Younger family’s conflicting hopes give rise to tensions as they face prejudice in moving into a white neighborhood.
Characters are Lena Younger, a.k.a. Mama; her son Walter Lee Younger; her daughter Beneatha Younger; Walter’s wife, Ruth; their son Travis; Joseph Asagai, a Nigerian student who loves Beneatha; George Murchison, a wealthy man who courts Beneatha; Bobo, one of Walter’s partners in a plan to purchase a liquor store; Karl Lindner, a White man who represents a neighborhood-improvement association and tries to dissuade the Youngers from moving into a white neighborhood; Mrs. Johnson, one of the Youngers’ neighbors; and some moving men.
“A Raisin the Sun premiered in 1959, starring Sidney Poitier as Walter, a role he reprised in the 1961 film adaptation. The original cast also included Ruby Dee, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett Jr., Glynn Turman and, as Karl, John Fiedler. Fiedler in 1994 was in Muskegon co-starring opposite Pat Paulsen in Cherry County Playhouse’s production of the Neil Simon comedy “The Sunshine Boys.”
A 1989 TV film adaptation of “A Raisin in the Sun” starred Danny Glover as Walter and Esther Rolle as Mama. A 2004 Broadway revival starred Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad; they reprised their roles in a 2008 TV film version. The most recent Broadway revival, in 2014, starred Denzel Washington as Walter.