Huntington Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, and the City of Boston's Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events will collaborate to present Two Plays: One House: A Raisin in the Sun & Clybourne Park at Dorchester's Strand Theatre on Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm. Hosted by Karen Holmes Ward, WCVB-TV's Director of Public Affairs and Community Services and host and executive producer of "CityLine," the evening will feature performances of scenes from each of the two plays and a panel conversation moderated by Ward with directors Liesl Tommy (A Raisin in the Sun) and M. Bevin O'Gara (Clybourne Park) about the issues of racism and gentrification raised in the plays. The evening is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are encouraged at huntingtontheatre.org/StrandRSVP.
Set in Chicago in the 1950s, the landmark A Raisin in the Sun depicts an African-American family whose struggle to achieve the American Dream leads them to purchase a house in a predominantly white neighborhood. Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, Clybourne Park picks up where Raisin leaves off. In the first act, nervous community leaders try to stop the sale of the home to the family from Raisin. The second act fast-forwards the action 50 years as a white couple that plans to demolish and rebuild the house faces parallel opposition from the now African-American neighborhood association.
"A Raisin in the Sun's incredible legacy shines on Clybourne Park," says Boston Mayor, the Honorable Thomas M. Menino. "These powerful plays explore themes such as racism, neighborhood identity, and the search for home in complex ways that resonate in our community today. I commend the Huntington Theatre Company and SpeakEasy Stage Company on this partnership to inspire meaningful discourse, and I look forward to welcoming them to the beautiful Strand Theatre for what promises to be a terrific evening."
Two Plays: One House is the continuation of the Huntington's longstanding tradition of bringing its work beyond its homes on the Avenue of the Arts and in the South End to Boston's neighborhoods and communities, including past events at the Strand Theatre (Breath, Boom; 2003) Roxbury Community College (Gem of the Ocean, 2004; Radio Golf, 2006; Fences, 2009), and Hibernian Hall (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 2012). The event also continues SpeakEasy Stage's series of public forums to further discourse on important cultural matters. Past SpeakEasy events include panel discussions on the challenges of readjusting to society after imprisonment in conjunction with its production of The Motherf**cker with the Hat and the effects of mental illness on both patients and caregivers during Next to Normal.
SpeakEasy Stage Company's production of Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris plays March 1 - 30 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Tickets and more information are available at speakeasystage.com/clybournepark.
The Huntington Theatre Company's production of A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry plays March 8 - April 7 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre. Tickets and more information at huntingtontheatre.org/raisin.
Find more information on the event at huntingtontheatre.org/Strand or speakeasystage.com/Strand.