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2012/13 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents A Raisin in the Sun
By Lorraine Hansberry, Directed by Walter Dallas, On the F. Otto Haas Stage, March 7 – April 21, 2013
Media Photos

January 31, 2013

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company, now celebrating its 25th Season of great stories by great storytellers, presents A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Directed by Walter Dallas, A Raisin in the Sun will run March 7-April 21 on the Arden’s F. Otto Haas Stage.

In Chicago’s South Side in the early 1950s, a life insurance check sent to the Younger’s home arrives with the promise of change. This African American family then considers buying a house in the all-white Clybourne Park, but conflicting aspirations and a neighborhood’s intolerance threaten the dream’s reality. The play’s premiere in 1959 was the first time an African American female playwright was produced on Broadway, was nominated for four Tony Awards, and went on to become a film starring Sidney Poitier. A pre-Broadway try-out featuring Poitier ran at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre in the 1950s.

The Arden saw great success in 2012 with Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning response to A Raisin in the Sun, but that was not the sole reason behind mounting a full production of Hansberry’s work. “We have long been committed to sharing stories of the American family,” says Terrence J. Nolen, the Arden’s Producing Artistic Director. “We’ve been waiting for the right team to come along to tackle Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece, and Walter Dallas returning to direct made producing this play finally possible.” Previously, Dallas has helmed productions of Blue Door and The Piano Lesson on the Arden’s stage.

Dallas is also known to Philadelphia audiences as the past Artistic Director of Freedom Theatre, Pennsylvania’s first African American theatre. For A Raisin in the Sun, Dallas reunites with actors Joilet F. Harris and U.R. who have worked with him at Freedom Theatre. Cast members Kash Goins and Yannick Haynes have also trained at Freedom.

Leading the cast as Lena Younger is Joilet F. Harris (Caroline, or Change) and U.R. as Walter Lee Younger (Blue Door, The Piano Lesson, Gee’s Bend). Other actors returning to the Arden for this production include Leonard C. Haas as Karl Lindner (All My Sons, A Midsummer Nights Dream) and Peterson Townsend as George Murchison (Cinderella, History Boys, Our Town). Out-of-town actors coming to Philadelphia for this production include Nikki E. Walker as Ruth (Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre), and Segun Akande as Joseph Asagai (Classical Theatre of Harlem and Arena Stage). Philadelphia actor Kash Goins makes his Arden debut as Bobo. Rounding out the cast as Travis Younger is Yannick Haynes, a local fifth grader and Arden Drama School student making his professional debut.

The creative team behind the production includes scenic designer Dan Conway (August: Osage County, Blue Door), costume designer Alison Roberts (August: Osage County, The Piano Lesson), lighting designer F. Mitchell Dana (History Boys, Barrymore Award for Something Intangible), and sound designer Rob Kaplowitz (Superior Donuts, Blue Door, Tony Award for Fela!).

A Raisin in the Sun previews begin on Thursday, March 7. Preview performances run March 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12. Opening night is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. The run has already been extended through April 21, 2013. Single ticket prices are $36-$48, with discounts available for seniors, students, military and educators. Groups of 15+ enjoy significant discounts; please inquire about group rates. Mainstage Subscriptions are on sale for $84-$135. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

A Pay What You Can performance will be held on Wednesday, March 6 at 8pm with all proceeds benefiting the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Post-show discussions will be held following performances on March 21 at 8pm, March 24 at 2pm, March 27 at 6:30pm, April 3 at 6:30pm, April 7 at 2pm.

The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Open Captioned and Audio Described performances will take place on Friday, April 12 at 8pm and Saturday, April 13 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.

The Scene, the Arden’s young professionals networking event, will be held on Friday, March 6. Tickets are $30 and include a pre-show reception at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show party with the staff and cast. Tickets are available online at www.ardentheatre.org/thescene or by calling 215.922.1122 and mentioning The Scene.

Teen Arden, a program for area teenagers passionate about theatre, hosts Drama, Bites, Access! on Friday, March 22. Tickets are $10 and include a pre-show party at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show meet and greet with members of the creative team and cast of A Raisin in the Sun Tickets are available online at www.ardentheatre.org/teenarden or by calling 215.922.1122. Teen Arden is made possible by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation.

Arden Drama School offers a special Showtime Workshop during the performance on Sunday, March 24 at 2pm. Kids in grades K-5 can take a $30 acting class while parents or grandparents attend the performance. Further details can be found online at www.ardendramaschool.com or by calling 215.922.1122. Arden Drama School is sponsored by Susquehanna Bank.

WHAT:
A Raisin in the Sun
By Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Walter Dallas

SUMMARY:
In Chicago’s South Side in the early 1950s, a life insurance check sent to the Younger’s home arrives with the promise of change. This African American family then considers buying a house in the all-white Clybourne Park, but conflicting aspirations and a neighborhood’s intolerance threaten the dream’s reality. Walter Dallas (The Piano Lesson, Blue Door) directs this classic drama that paved the way for the African American voice to be heard on stage.

WHERE:
Arden Theatre Company
F. Otto Haas Stage
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia 19106

WHEN:
March 7 – April 21, 2013
Preview performances: March 7-12
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013


TICKETS:
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

$36-$48 for adults depending on the performance chosen

Group discounts available for 15+
Student Rush tickets at the door 30 minutes before curtain for $10 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)

CAST:
Segun Akande (Resident of New York, NY) - Joseph Asagai
Kashmir Goins (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Bobo
Leonard C. Haas (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Karl Lindner
Joilet F. Harris (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Lena Younger
Yannick Haynes (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Travis Younger
UR (Resident of Roslyn, PA) - Walter Lee Younger
Peterson Townsend (Resident of Jersey City, NJ) - George Murchison
Nikki E. Walker (Resident of New York, NY) - Ruth Younger

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Walter Dallas - Director
Dan Conway - Scenic Designer
Alison Roberts - Costume Designer
F. Mitchell Dana - Lighting Designer
Rob Kaplowitz - Sound Designer
Alec E. Ferrell - Stage Manager


PRODUCTION SPONSOR: Fox Chase Bank

25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON SPONSORS: Main Line Health and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS: Harmelin Media, JPM Catering, Hatboro Beverages


# # #
Reviewing members of the press are invited to opening night Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm and may reserve tickets through Leigh Goldenberg at lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.org.

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 North 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.

The Arden’s 25th Anniversary Season includes:
Next to Normal,
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey, Music by Tom Kitt – September 27-November 4, 2012
Freud’s Last Session, By Mark St. Germain – October 25-December 23, 2012
Cinderella, By Charles Way – November 28, 2012-February 3, 2013
Endgame, By Samuel Beckett – January 17- March 10, 2013
A Raisin in the Sun, By Lorraine Hansberry – March 7- April 21, 2013
Pinocchio, By Carlo Collodi, Adapted by Greg Banks – April 10- June 16, 2013
A Little Night Music, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler – May 23-June 30, 2013

Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. We stage five productions each season as part of our mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children’s Theatre, the city’s first resident professional children’s theatre program. We create and produce new work through our new-work development program, the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden Professional Apprentice program trains future theatre leaders, and our theatre classes through Arden Drama School teach children and teens about the craft of making plays. Our access program, Arden for All, makes our work available to the entire community through subsidized tickets and books for economically disadvantaged young people. We also offer sign language-interpreted, captioned and audio described performances and Pay-What-You-Can final dress rehearsals that benefit other nonprofits.

The Arden recently announced an expansion with the Hamilton Family Arts Center, a 22,000 square foot building located three doors north of the Arden at 62 N. 2nd Street. Once renovations are complete in 2013, this building will be a home for process and innovation, including seven classrooms for Arden Drama School, a rehearsal hall, an 80-seat Studio Theatre, Lobby, Parent Lounge, and Teacher Resource Center, and a Crafts Studio for construction of set and props. Details about the Hamilton Family Arts Center can be found online at www.ardentheatre.org/new.

The Arden has received seven Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Philly” Awards, the Arts and Business Council’s Arts Excellence Award, five City Paper “Reader’s Choice” Awards, four Philadelphia Inquirer “Theatre Company of the Year” citations, 58 awards and 276 nominations from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia’s Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, and was named “Best Theatre Company” by Philadelphia Weekly in 2009.
©2013 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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