"A Raisin in the Sun" may be an acknowledged classic now, but director Ron OJ Parson understands how daring and radical Lorraine Hansberry's drama was in its own time.
Her play about an African-American family's plan to buy a home in an all-white Chicago neighborhood reflects the early 1950s, before Rosa Parks and the Fair Housing Act, Parson said in an interview. The civil rights movement was still embryonic, and assimilation was seen as the path to success for African-Americans.
"That's why the hair thing is such a big deal," Parson pointed out. In Act Two, Beneatha, the Younger family's collegiate daughter who's exploring her African heritage, has cut off most of her hair, leaving an unstraightened natural, to the shock of her gentleman caller and her family.
That scene was so hot to handle, it was left out of the 1961 film, Parson said, but was restored to the play script in the 1980s.
Parson is directing the Milwaukee Repertory Theater's production of "Raisin" which opens Friday at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater.
Read the full article at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.