Set on Chicago’s South Side, Lorraine Hansberry's play revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee (Denzel Washington); his wife, Ruth (Sophie Okonedo); his sister, Beneatha (Anika Noni Rose); his son, Travis; and matriarch Lena, called Mama (LaTanya Richardson Jackson). When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama.
The play debuted on Broadway in 1959, and was most recently revived in 2004. The original Broadway cast reprised their performances in a 1961 feature film written by Hansberry. A 2008 TV film featured many of the same performers as the 2004 revival. Raisin, a musical based on A Raisin in the Sun, opened on Broadway in 1973, winning the 1974 Tony Award as Best Musical.Revised April 8, 2014