A Raisin in the Sun

Drama - Original

Ethel Barrymore Theatre (March 11, 1959 - October 17, 1959)
Belasco Theatre (October 19, 1959 - June 25, 1960)
Data not verified
  • First Preview: March 10, 1959
  • Opening Date: March 11, 1959
  • Closing Date: June 25, 1960
  • Previews: 1
  • Performances: 530

Playwright: Lorraine Hansberry


Lorraine Hansberry's landmark drama was one of the first on Broadway to examine African-American life on the cusp of the civil rights era. Walter Younger and his mother, Lena, both yearn to move their family out of Chicago's Southside ghetto. When Lena's late husband's insurance check arrives, Lena hopes to use it to buy a house in a white neighborhood — while Walter hopes to invest it in a liquor business.


Opening Night Cast

Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun Sidney Poitier Walter Lee Younger
Ruby Dee in A Raisin in the Sun Ruby Dee Ruth Younger
Ivan Dixon Joseph Asagai
Lonne Elder III Bobo
John Fiedler Karl Lindner
Ed Hall Moving Man
Claudia McNeil Lena Younger
Diana Sands Beneatha Younger
See Full Opening Night Cast

Opening Night Production Credits

Lorraine Hansberry Lorraine Hansberry Writer
  Lloyd Richards Director
  Ralph Alswang Designed
  Virginia Volland Costumes
  Ralph Alswang Lighted
  Masque Sound Engineering Company Sound Design
See Full Opening Night Production credits
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New York Drama Critics' Circle

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1959 Best American Play Lorraine Hansberry Winner

Outer Critics Circle

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1959 Outstanding Actress in a Play Diana Sands Winner

Tony Award

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1960 Actor in a Play Sidney Poitier Nominee
1960 Actress in a Play Claudia McNeil Nominee
1960 Direction of a Play Lloyd Richards Nominee
1960 Play   Nominee
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