Social tension at forefront of upcoming production

By Arelys Morales Conty/campus editor

The story of a black family’s determination to make their dreams come true in the face of prejudice will premiere on Feb. 20 on SE Campus.

A Raisin in the Sun is directed by SE theater director Megan Haratine and is also a part of Black History Month.

The play is about a black family who receives $10,000 in life insurance and their experience in moving into an all-white neighborhood in the 1950s.

“A Raisin in the Sun still resonates today as one of the most important plays of the 20th century with a message as universal as it is specific,” Haratine said.

The play was written by Lorraine Hansberry in 1959 and was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, Haratine said.

Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian
SE students Jasmine Shands and Linda Jordan laugh while practicing their lines and enjoying a scene from A Raisin in the Sun, the SE Campus Spring production premiering Feb. 20. Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian

SE student Linda Jordan plays the role of Mama.

“My character is trying to keep the family together and move them out into a better place,” she said.

Jordan is excited to be part of the play’s production because of its significance to black history.

“It’s such an iconic play,” she said. “I jumped at the chance.”

Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian
SE student Darius Booker controls the room while he announces his lines theatrically. Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian

It’s a beautifully written story about love, hardship and tenacity, and it will touch on every human emotion, she said.

SE student Dierich Calhoun plays George Murchison. Calhoun has enjoyed watching the story come to life.

“I’m astounded by the other actors and the work and emotion they’re putting in,” he said.

This play sends a positive message of being what you want to be and not being tied down by race, he said, adding he’s certain the audience will take away a lot from the play.

“You’ll leave being inspired,” he said. “It’s good theater.”

Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian
SE student David Tshibangu passionately executes his lines with full-on emotion at rehearsal. Photos by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian

The themes are not exclusively family and race, Haratine said.

“Insatiable dreams and aspirations, the search for identity, navigating family relationships, maintaining integrity in a compromising world are among the prominent themes,” she said.

Haratine hopes the play makes people think about equality in today’s society and how it’s changed from back then.

“Hopefully, today this reflection will lead us to greater empathy, and in turn, may we dare to take action in the fight for equality,” she said.