40+ Stage Company to present ‘A Raisin in the Sun’

Actors rehearse a scene from "A Raisin in the Sun".

40+ Stage Company to present ‘A Raisin in the Sun’
January 28
09:07 2023

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” 

This provocative question from a poem by Langston Hughes was the inspiration for the title to the play by Lorraine Hansberry, a playwright and the first African American woman to have a play performed on Broadway. Considered a risky venture at that time due to its cast of all Black actors except one, the play enjoyed outstanding success from opening night and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle award.

In celebration of Black History Month, 40+ Stage Company is bringing “A Raisin in the Sun” to the Mountcastle Forum stage at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in the month of February. Set in Chicago’s South Side, the play concerns the dreams and conflicts of three generations of the Younger family and their struggle to retain dignity in a changing world.

Tomeka Allen, who will direct this production, said, “This has always been on my bucket list.” She added, “Even back in 2007 or 2008, I wanted to take a shot at this.” Allen is a 2009 graduate of UNC-G and has acted in plays around the Triad, as well as directed original plays. 

In 2013 Allen started her own production company, I Inspire Productions, in Greensboro. She was introduced to Corliss Sellers, the chair of 40+ Stage Company, who asked her to direct one of the winning 10-minute plays, a script writers competition of Winston-Salem Writers. When looking for a director for “A Raisin in the Sun,” Sellers again reached out to Allen.

Allen said she was delighted that 40+ Stage chose this play to celebrate Black History Month because “there is so much to the story.” She said one line in the play says it all for her, when Mama says, “Bring me my hat.” She said it’s her favorite line because “it shows the anger and desperation … Walter had lost all of his money that Mama had given him. A lot of us can relate to that feeling of wanting the best for our family.”

Allen hopes that everyone will come out to see this production. “There is such passion in this play that we can relate to; trying to find a way to achieve our dreams.”

The cast includes:

*Walter Lee – Hayden Crawford

*Beneatha – Lindsay Brown

*Mama – Corliss Sellers

*George/Bobo – Tony Browley

*Abigail – Otis Simpson

*Ruth – Tenesia Turner

*Miss Johnson – Carla Simpson

*Mr. Karl Lindner – Roberts Bass

*Travis – Nova Nix Jeffries

Plus additional cast members as singers and dancers.

Show dates are Feb. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online by going to or by calling the Milton Rhodes box office at 336-747-1414.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors