February 14, 2013

A RAISIN IN THE SUN First Rehearsal: the Meet & Greet

Tuesday marked the first day of rehearsal for A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry here at the Huntington. It’s only the second show that we’ve produced more than once in the last 31 years (the other being Candide in 1989 and again in 2011). Back in 1995, Kenny Leon took the helm as director, and this time, we’ve invited Liesl Tommy back to tell the story anew. She also directed 2011’s Ruined  and last year’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, both of which were tremendous hits, so we’re excited to have her back in the building. I think I speak for the entire staff here when I say that we look forward to having her around, because she not only delivers these breathtaking theatrical feats, but also because she’s always so full of warmth and enthusiasm, making her an absolute pleasure to work with.

Check out our photo album from the Meet & Greet luncheon.

Fun fact: Liesl Tommy was born in South Africa, and moved to Newton when she was young. She saw Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Huntington when she was still in high school, and she cites the experience as a defining moment in her development as a theatre artist. In fact, growing up in the Boston area has inspired this production of Raisin as well. "My father was an urban planner who worked on low-income housing in Boston, and we often talked about how destructive to family life tiny apartments can be," she told us. "With Raisin, I'm looking to explore just how desperate poverty can make you when you don't have the space to be yourself."

And another fun fact: Liesl actually auditioned for our 1995 production of A Raisin In The Sun, and although she didn't get the part, she felt so accomplished just by being asked to come in for an audition at the Huntington that the experience cemented her decision to apply to grad school and dedicate her life to being a theatre artist.

You can hear her tell the story in her own words in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video from the first rehearsal, which also features opening remarks from Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso:

A Raisin in the Sun plays March 8 - April 7, 2013 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.

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