Long Beach Playhouse Presents A Raisin in the Sun

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As the country finds itself enmeshed in current events and a political cycle in which race and racism have center stage, the Playhouse presents A Raisin in the Sun. It is one of America’s most enduring works about the African American experience as viewed through the Younger family in Chicago in the 1950s. 

“The play was first produced on Broadway in 1959,” said Andrew Vonderschmitt, executive and producing artistic director of the Long Beach Playhouse. “The Youngers have made it out of the south, but their world is still defined by race. The jobs they have are typical for the time, Lena Younger, the matriarch, is a housekeeper, her son, Walter is a chauffeur. Their dreams for a better future rest on the $10,000 insurance check for the recently deceased patriarch.

“The whole family has dreams for a better future, they just aren’t the same dreams and that’s where the drama lies.”

In the story, Mama takes $3500 to buy a house in a nice neighborhood, which happens to be all white people. She entrusts the rest to her son, Walter, with the understanding there be money left to pay for his younger sister, Beneatha, to attend medical school and the rest will go into a checking account in Walter’s name to pay the bills. What happens next is not hard to guess.

“It’s wrenching to watch. Walter is doing what he truly believes is best,” said Vonderschmitt. “And his mother’s unwavering support of her son is a tribute to motherhood at its best.”

The cast for this show is a mix of new and returning actors. Returning actors include Latonya Kitchen, Derek Shaun, Jeffrey Rolle and Jeremy Bear. New to the Playhouse stage are: Travis Coleman, Angela D. Watson, Dominique Johnson, Ali Ahmad, and Rayshawn C. Chism.

Phyllis Gitlin, a longtime veteran of the Playhouse is the director. Her recent credits at the Playhouse include Fiddler on the Roof, Tartuffe and The Glass Menagerie.

A Raisin in the Sun opens on May 21 and runs through June 18.


  • Pay what you can Thursday May 19- community can see this production for whatever they can afford
  • Two for One Preview Friday May 20 – Tickets are $12.00
  • Opening Night Champagne Reception with cast on May 21 – Tickets are $27.00


Friday: Adults are $20.00, Seniors $18.00, and Students $14.00

Saturday and Sunday: Adults are $24.00, Seniors $21.00, and Students $14.00.
Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA, 90804, right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course. The Playhouse is community-supported theatre with programs and events that cut across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday from 3:00-8:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00-2:00 pm on scheduled matinees.


One Response to “Long Beach Playhouse Presents A Raisin in the Sun”
  1. Steven Childs says:

    Can the author of thus quote explain how we are “enmeshed in a political cycle in which race and racism have center stage”?