The title of the Omaha Community Playhouse’s current production of “A Raisin in the Sun” comes from a line in the poem “Harlem (A Dream Deferred”: “Does it Dry Up Like a Raisin in the Sun.”
The play was written by Lorraine Hansberry in the 1950s. It was made into a very successful movie in 1961 that starred Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands.
The show’s director is Tyrone Beasley. The production will run through Feb. 9 on the Hawks Mainstage inside the Playhouse.
The play takes place in the early 1950s. The Younger family lives in a small apartment on the southside of Chicago. They are poor and share a bathroom down the hall from their apartment.
The head of the household is Mama Lena, played by Karen S. Fox. Her son Walter is played by David Terrell Green. His wife is Ruth played by Faushia R. Weeden. Walter and Ruth’s son Travis is Brodhi McClymont. They all live in Mama’s small apartment. Travis doesn’t have a bedroom of his own and sleeps on the couch.
Mama Lena’s husband died over a year ago as the play starts. The family is waiting for a check from the insurance company for her deceased husband’s life insurance policy.
The $10,000 check could change their lifestyle completely. Mama wants to buy a house, her son Walter wants to invest in a liquor store with his friends. Walter is a dreamer.
Mama’s daughter is Beneatha, who is a very smart girl in her early 20s. She is played by Olivia Howard. Although there are clashes in the family, they really care for each other.
The actors who play the family members are very good.
The set by Steven Williams is fantastic. It is a very realistic apartment set. The set even has a working refrigerator and stove. In the opening of the show, Ruth is cooking scrambled eggs and you can smell it.
The day the $10,00 arrives creates a great deal of excitement in the family. Mama goes and finds a nice house to buy out of the neighborhood where they currently lived.
She finds the house and she puts down a payment.
There are complications when the head of the all-white neighborhood association visits the family in their apartment. He has a proposition. The association doesn’t want a black family in their neighborhood.
This story is so good and gives the audience a look into the history of racism in the 1950s.
Beneatha has dated several different people in the show. They are very interesting characters. Donte Lee Plunkett plays a man from Africa. Brandon Williams plays a man from the neighborhood.
The costumes — by Lindsay Pape — are excellent and very 1950s. To add to the realism, Tim Vallier has written original music for the production.
Darrin Golden is the technical director, John Gibilsco is the sound designer, Darin Kuehler is the properties designer. Brendan Brown is assistant director.
The first act is 70 minutes, there is a 15-minute intermission, and the second act runs 100 minutes.
This production of “A Raisin in the Sun” is a great classic with really good actors and a historical storyline.
Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Prices range from $30, depending on the performance.
You can call the box office at 402-553-0800.