Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem,” penned in 1951, asks “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” Lorraine Hansberry attempted to address these questions in a play – her first to be produced – that debuted on Broadway in 1959 and was performed earlier this year at Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland Heights.
The now-classic “A Raisin in the Sun” serves as a celebration of African American strength garnered through generations of personal struggle and slow-coming social change. And, for actors Eugene and Nicole Sumlin – who are husband and wife playing husband and wife Walter Lee and Ruth Younger in this production – performing together is a celebration of their shared passion, but it has not been a dream deferred.
“Nicole and I have been blessed to be in about five shows together, not counting vocal recitals. And we actually got to share the ‘Raisin’ experience with our son, Easton, which was truly magical and something I don’t think we will ever forget,” recalls Eugene. Easton played the Cleveland Heights couple’s on-stage son, Travis.
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