To Be Young, Gifted and Black: A Portrait of Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words
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The last date listed for To Be Young, Gifted and Black: A Portrait of Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words was Sunday May 27, 2012 / 7:00pm.
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Sure, war is hell, but when author Kurt Vonnegut is telling the tale, it can be hellishly funny, too. Perhaps the greatest American humorist since Twain, Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions) is at his absolutely best in Slaughterhouse-Five, recounting the horrors of World War II with sly wit, sci-fi zaniness and the profound insight of a survivor and veteran. Now the Custom Made Theatre Co. brings this modern literary masterpiece to the stage with a brilliant adaptation by Oscar winner Eric Simonson. An ensemble of 11 actors plays dozens of characters in a production enriched with Vonnegut-inspired animations and an evocative set. Deeply hilarious from the get-go -- and increasingly moving as the story progresses -- Slaughterhouse-Five is one play you won't soon forget. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from John Mifsud
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It was an amateur production but I was very grateful I saw it. It is a script compiling assorted writings of one of America's literary giants that I was unaware of. The play allowed me to experience a great deal of Hansberry's writing that I would not have otherwise. That was definitely worth the price of the ticket.
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I absolutely loved this play. The acting was superb. I am away from home and do not have my program here, so I cannot single out any particular actor, but they were all excellent. Lewis Campbell did a wonderful job directing this play.
Lorraine Hansberry was born in 1930 in the Woodlawn neighborhood of the South Side of Chicago. Her family later moved into a white neighborhood, where they faced racial discrimination. Lorraine attended a predominantly white public school while her parents fought against segregation. The legal struggle over their move led to the landmark Supreme Court case of Hansberry v. Lee (1940). Though victors in the Supreme Court, the family was subjected to what Lorraine would later describe as a “hellishly hostile white neighborhood.” This experience later inspired her to write her most famous work, A Raisin in the Sun.
Hansberry attended the University of Wisconsin, but found college to be uninspiring and left in 1950 to pursue her career as a writer in New York. She worked on the staff of a Black newspaper called Freedom. It was at that time she wrote A Raisin in the Sun. It was the first play written by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway. It received the N.Y. Drama Critics Award, making Hansberry the first Black writer to receive the Award.
Lorraine Hansberry died on January 12, 1965, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 34. Her second play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window opened on Broadway in 1964 and closed the night she died.
About the Ticket Supplier: Custom Made Theatre Co.
Winner of multiple SF Bay Critic Circle awards, including the Best Overall Play of 2012 (Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby), The Custom Made Theatre Co. is a San Francisco-based not-for-profit theatre dedicated to ensemble-based, socially relevant productions. Custom Made, now in its 16th season, is the managing company of the Gough Street Playhouse, an intimate thrust theatre, where the company presents a six play season, along with numerous free readings, workshops and classes.