University Theatre’s Raisin in the Sun Inspires Conversation

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Directed by professor Holden Hansen and on stage from Feb. 21 to 24 at Givens Performing Arts Center, University Theatre’s production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun prompted conversation about contemporary issues of racism, pride, and perseverance.

UNCP Theatre majors Hakeem Abdur-Rahim, Christopher Bates, Dennis Bowen, Javonnie Cromartie, Jasmine Colie Dominque Davis, Marcius (CiCi) Guthrie, Brice Anthony Heller, Nicolai Lopez, Merry Samantha Paige Maxwell, Dyrrin (D.J.) Ray, Darian Rolle, Rebecca Feyi Wey, and Laura Zaetz made up the performance’s cast and crew.

Assistant professor David Walton, Ph.D., of UNCP’s Department of History moderated post-performance dialogues on Feb. 21 and 23, sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

For panelist Ayanna Williams, vice president of UNCP’s Black History Club, the play celebrates family and pride, and it reinforces that money does not have to rule the world.

For panelist Kendall Scott, Mama Lena’s desire to see her dying plant survive testified to her dedication to her family.

For Davis, who played Beneatha, and for panelist Alexis Clinton, the power of the play to provoke conversation remains its greatest strength.

“We need to keep sharing our ideas,” Davis said. “We need to keep talking – it’s very progressive.”

Clinton agreed. “Talk to your friends about it,” she said. “Talk to your family.

“Let these ideas sink in, and at the end of the day, let this continue,” she said. “Despite everything you know, keep moving, keep pushing – you have dreams to achieve.”