A Raisin in the Sun and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window

Lorraine Hansberry

Published by Plume, 1987
ISBN 10: 0452264855 / ISBN 13: 9780452264854
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Synopsis: "Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people's lives been seen on the stage," observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959.

Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America--and changed American theater forever.  The play's title comes from a line in Langston Hughes's poem "Harlem," which warns that a dream deferred might "dry up/like a raisin in the sun."

"The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun," said The New York Times.  "It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic."  This Modern Library edition presents the fully restored, uncut version of Hansberry's landmark work with an introduction by Robert Nemiroff.

About the Author: Lorraine Hansberry, at twenty-nine, became the youngest American, the fifth woman, and the first black playwright to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for the Best Play of the Year. Her A Raisin in the Sun has since been published and produced in some 30 countries, while her film adaptation was nominated by the New York critics for the Best Screenplay and received a Cannes Film Festival Award. At thirty-four, during the run of her second play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, Lorraine Hansberry died of cancer. In the years since her death, her stature has continued to grow. To Be Young, Gifted and Black, a dramatic portrait of the playwright in her own words, was the longest-running Off-Broadway drama of 1969, and has been recorded, filmed, and published in expanded book form, and has toured an unprecedented forty states and two hundred colleges. In 1986, following the stage production of the 25th anniversary of A Raisin in the Sun by the Roundabout Theatre in New York City, the play was widely acclaimed as in the foremost ranks of American classics. In 1990, the PBS American Playhouse TV adaptation of the 25th-anniversary version had one of the highest viewing audiences in PBS history. Les Blancs, her last play—posthumously performed on Broadway and recently in prominent regional theaters—has been hailed by a number of critics as her best.

Robert Nemiroff (1929–1991) was a Broadway producer and the literary executor of Lorraine Hansberry's estate.

Spike Lee is a director, actor, producer, author, and educator who has helped revolutionize contemporary black cinema. Lee is a forerunner in the "Do It Yourself" school of independent film. He received a Peabody Award for the documentary If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, which revisited the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region as residents attempted to rebuild in their cities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, while also demanding assistance and accountability from their political leaders. Lee's other critical and box office successes have included such films as Inside Man25th HourThe Original Kings of ComedyBamboozled, and Summer of Sam. Lee taught a course on filmmaking at Harvard in 1991, and in 1993 he began as a professor at New York University’s Graduate Film Program at Tisch School of the Arts, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Film Production. In 2002, he was appointed the Artistic Director of the Graduate Film Program. Spike Lee has combined his extensive creative experience into yet another venture: partnering with DDB Needham, he created Spike/DDB, a full-service advertising agency.

Margaret B. Wilkerson earned a PhD in dramatic art from UC Berkeley in 1972. In the 1970s and 1980s, Professor Wilkerson was director of the UC Berkeley Center for the Study, Education, and Advancement of Women. As chair of UC Berkeley’s Department of African American Studies from 1988-1994, she led the faculty to establish the PhD program in African diaspora studies. Professor Wilkerson chaired the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies from 1995-1998, where she led the development of the new interdisciplinary PhD program in performance studies. She was also the 2009 commencement speaker for the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

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Title: A Raisin in the Sun and The Sign in Sidney ...
Publisher: Plume
Publication Date: 1987
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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