On Friday Oct. 8, the Samuel Dubois Cook Theater celebrated its 10 year anniversary by debuting A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Andrea Frye.
The cast consisted of Derrick Deal, starring as Walter Lee Younger, Joyce Deal as Beneatha Younger, Ketreequia Thompson as Lena Younger, Tai Cambre and Angela K. Thomas as Ruth Younger, Raymond P. Diamond and Justin Henry as Travis Younger, Jason Smith as Joseph Asagai, Evan Cleaver as George Murchison, Patience Rayford as Mrs. Johnson, Mark De La Garza as Karl Linder, Kyle Jackson as Bobo, and Steve Gomez, Raphael Williams, Gerrod Bowick, and Lamar Edwards as the moving men.
A Raisin in the Sun, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, depicts the lives of a 1950s black family, living and struggling in the south side of Chicago. The Youngers are a family whose hopes and dreams are constantly deferred. Surviving the burdens of sorrow, poverty and discrimination they learn how to stick together as a family in order to make it
“This is a story of triumph of the human spirit and the refusal to be a victim,” said Andrea Frye, Artist in Residence.
Selling out the first night, A Raisin in the Sun has received great feedback from both Dillard students and the New Orleans community. On Oct. 9, the show had the largest attendance of Dillard students.
Garey Hyatt, the Dillard University Theatre manager, selected the play to begin the tenth anniversary season. “With both the play and the theater celebrating anniversaries this year, it was perfect timing,” said Hyatt. “And in my 25 years in theater I always wanted to work with this play.”
Hyatt also noted how the current Broadway version of A Raisin in the Sun, staring P. Daddy, has increased the notice of the play.
Frye, who has served as the artistic director for the Black Theatre Troupe and also directed the young people’s theatre in Brooklyn, took charge alongside Hyatt to prepare the actors, stage managers and the production staff for the play.
“I thought it was great! I loved the movie so seeing it on stage was even better, I will definitely be at the next play,” said Robnieka Hamilton, a freshman psychology major from Houston, Texas.
This year Dillard students and the city of New Orleans can expect many more culture filled works from the theater department. The Cook Theater will be showing plays that are currently celebrating their anniversaries. The next play of the season will be “The double satire play, Ties That Bind” by: Regina Taylor.