American Classic A RAISIN IN THE SUN Comes Alive at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

CSC_A Raisin in the Sun- Press 3

Geoffrey Warren Barnes as Walter Younger, Torie Wiggins as Ruth Younger, Shadow Avili’ as Travis Younger, Renika Williams as Beneatha Younger & Burgess Byrd as Lena Younger. Photo by By Mikki Schaffner Photography.

CINCINNATI, March 10, 2017 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s mainstage season continues with the American classic A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. The production, running March 24 – April 15, 2017, is directed by Christopher V. Edwards and features Geoffrey Warren Barnes II, Burgess Byrd, and Torie Wiggins in the leading roles. The production is generously sponsored by Johnson Investment Council and Thompson Hine LLP.

A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of the Youngers, a working-class family in 1950s Chicago. An unexpected financial windfall gives them an opportunity for a better life, but tensions between Walter Lee (Geoffrey Warren Barnes) and family matriarch Lena (Burgess Byrd) combine threaten to shatter their opportunity at the American dream. A Raisin in the Sun’s premiere in 1959 made Lorraine Hansberry the first black female playwright to have a play produced on Broadway, as well as the youngest American playwright to win the New York Critics Drama Desk Award. The production also had Broadway’s first-ever black director, and was nominated for four Tony Awards. The play was notably revived on Broadway in 2004, and has been adapted multiple times to film, most notably in 1961 and in 2008, with productions featuring Sidney Poitier and Sean Combs, respectively, as Walter Lee.

Veteran director Christopher V. Edwards joins Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for the first time to direct this production. He says he is “very excited to be directing A Raisin in the Sun, as it’s one of the iconic plays that changed the landscape of American theater. It’s an epic play with a lot of dynamic language and deep relationships, and a Shakespeare company is well-prepared to handle that, because it’s the sort of thing they do all the time!”  Mr. Edwards is currently the Artistic Director of Nevada Conservatory Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He is also on the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he teaches Directing, Theatre Management, Stage Combat and Performance. Prior to this, Chris was a company member, Director of Education, Associate Artistic Director and on the Interim Creative Team for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Cold Spring, NY.

A Raisin in the Sun runs March 24 – April 15, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM as well as April 15 at 2:00 PM. There is no performance on Sunday, March 26. Preview performances are Wednesday April 22 and Thursday April 23.

The theater is currently located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center.  Single ticket prices range from $22-$38 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$42 on Fridays and Saturdays.  Previews are $25.  If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased one hour before a show with a valid student ID.  This production is a part of this season’s subscription package. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.  Ticketing fees may apply.  Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as AAA members.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at http://www.cincyshakes.com.

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About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages.  Currently located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season. In the summer of 2017, the theater will relocate to the Otto M. Budig Theater, a brand new facility in OTR. CSC’s repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theater Association.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reached over 50,000 young people and underserved community members each season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions.  In 2015, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the classics!

About The 2016-2017 Season:
This season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company receives operating support from The Ohio Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation and is supported, in part, by the generosity of thousands of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Production dates and information on the season are available online at www.cincyshakes.com.

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