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Sept. 25, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"A Raisin In The Sun" Opens
at CSUDH’s Edison Theatre on October 12

Carson, CA The California State University Dominguez Hills Department of Theatre Arts is pleased to announce its opening play of the 2007-08 season. Lorraine Hansberry's classic, “A Raisin in the Sun,” will open October 12 and run through October 26.

“A Raisin in the Sun” tells the story of the Younger family— Mama, the matriarch, her adult children, Beneatha and Walter, and Walter’s wife and child, Ruth and Travis — all squeezed into a one-room apartment on the south side of Chicago and dreaming of a better life. The conflicts that arise from Walter's dream of opening a liquor store, Beneatha's dream of becoming a doctor, and Mama's dream of buying a house leave the family wondering if all these aspirations might not become "deferred" and left to dry up.

When “A Raisin in the Sun” premiered in 1959, it became the first play written by an African American playwright to appear Broadway. The production met with critical acclaim during its original 15-month run, receiving a New York Drama Critics Circle best play award and four Tony Awards in 1960: best play, best actor (Sidney Poitier), best actress (Claudia McNeil) and best director (Lloyd Richards). A 2004 Broadway revival starring Phylicia Rashad also received Tony Award nods, with Rashad taking home the best lead actress award and Audra McDonald the best featured actress award.

“A Raisin in the Sun” was first performed at CSU Dominguez Hills in 1978. This latest production is being staged in association with the Black Theatre Program at CSUDH and directed by associate professor of theatre arts Donis Leonard, who started the Black Theatre Program in 1999 to illuminate the black experience through arts and culture. The play will be performed in the university’s intimate 70-seat Edison Studio Theatre.

Leading the cast as Walter Lee Younger is Adrian Thomas, a professional actor with a number of stage and film credits to his name. Thomas will be attending Dominguez Hills in spring 2008 to complete his degree in theater arts. He will be joined on stage by retired CSUDH English professor Joyce Johnson, playing Mama Younger; current CSUDH students Denise Groce, Petal Walker, Freddie Davis, Alexandra Clark and Treasure Davis; CSUDH alumni Tiffany Cousin (’02), Phil Bray (’03), Antwan Herron (’04), Erik Grady (’04), and Samuel Simmons (’05); and Long Beach Renaissance High School student Taj Stewart as Travis. Stewart is a sophomore and already has a number of acting credits to his name, including “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Reba.”


CAST
Ruth Younger...............Tiffany Cousin
Travis Younger.............Taj Stewart
Walter Lee Younger...... Adrian Thomas
Beneatha Younger........ Petal Walker
Lena Younger (Mama)... Joyce Johnson
Joseph Asagai............. Antwan Herron
George Murchison......... Samuel Simmons
BoBo.......................... Phil Bray
Ms. Johnson................ Denise Groce
Karl Lindner................. Eric Grady

Understudies Freddie Davis, Alexandra Clark, Treasure Davis

Performances will take place weekends Oct. 12 to 21, with Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2 p.m. The shows on Thursday, Oct. 25, and Friday, Oct. 26, will be at 8 p.m. Individual ticket prices are $12 or $10 for students and senior citizens. Special group rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Season subscriptions are $35 or $30 for students and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased by calling (310) 243-3589. Online ordering is also available at www.zaptix.com (browse “California”).

The University Theatre complex, which includes the 475-seat University Theatre and the more intimate Edison Studio Theatre, is located on the campus of CSU Dominguez Hills off Toro Center Drive/Tamcliff Street at Victoria Street in the city of Carson. Metered parking lots are within walking distance. Permits are $3 and can be purchased at yellow kiosk machines near each lot.

For more information, call (310) 243-3588.

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About Department of Theatre Arts -- Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and with memberships in the California Education Theatre Association and the Southern California Educational Theatre Association, the CSUDH Theatre Arts Department stages major theatrical productions each season in either its 485-seat University Theatre or the more intimate 70-seat Edison Studio Theatre. In addition to producing actors and actresses, the department also educates students to be part of the community. Through its Teatro Dominguez multicultural theatre company students take on leadership roles in touring original and ethnic shows to local K-12 schools; its Black Theatre Program provides courses, touring shows and workshops that illuminate the black experience for people of all ages and ethnicities; and the newly formed Dominguez Bridge Theatre Company creates and produces original plays that tell the story of the surrounding communities.

About CSU Dominguez Hills -- California State University, Dominguez Hills is a highly diverse, urban university located in the South Bay, primarily serving the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The university prides itself on its outstanding faculty and friendly, student-centered environment. Known for excellence in teacher education, nursing, psychology, business administration, and digital media arts, new degree programs include computer science, criminal justice, recreation and leisure studies, social work, and communication disorders. On campus is the Home Depot Center, a multi-purpose sports complex that hosts world-class soccer, tennis, track and field, lacrosse, and cycling.

 

 

 



Media Contact:

Amy Bentley Smith
(310)243-2455
abentleysmith@csudh.edu

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