Written by Lorraine Hansberry
A Raisin in the Sun is Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking drama, a searing and timeless portrait of a family on Chicago’s South Side, and an American classic. A Raisin in the Sun is an answer to the poem from which the title is derived – Langston Hughes’ legendary poem, Harlem. When the Youngers see an opportunity to move to a new neighborhood, each member of the family must answer: What happens to a dream deferred?
“[A] pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre.” – Newsweek
A Raisin in the Sun is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com
COVID POLICY: Due to the intimacy of our space and for the safety of our performers, we are requiring all audience members to be masked while inside the theater.
Lois Roach is a writer, award-winning producer and stage director. Her screenplay, Waking Up, was a semifinalist for the 2021 New York Women in Film & Television Writers Lab. She is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies at Wellesley College.
Lois has produced a series of programs for the Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket, which address the role of women in the 2020 U.S. Election; the impact of racism on the health care response to Covid-19; and the importance of Juneteenth for Boston’s Black community and its allies in the antislavery movement.
Her play Living On... is under agreement with Concord Theatricals and has been performed around the country. Other plays, Mothers of Gods, Mothers of War and The Emancipation of Mandy and Miz Ellie, were premiered at the Boston Center for Arts.
As a stage director, Lois received the IRNE Best Director Award for the Lyric Stage production of The Old Settler which also received the IRNE Award for Best Production and the Elliot Norton Award for Best Production (Small Theater). In addition to the New Rep, Lois has worked with the Lyric Stage Company, the Black Folks Theatre Company, Company One Theatre, the Opera Providence, RI, Our Place Theatre’s African American Theatre Festival and the Wellesley Rep Theater. Company One Theatre established The Lois Roach Theatre Community Award, which has been presented to individuals in recognition of outstanding commitment to the Boston theatre community.
As the former Director of Public Affairs for WBZ-TV and Radio, Lois won an Emmy award for spots written and produced about AIDS. She was the coordinating producer for public service campaigns such as Stop the Violence and Time to Care. For 16 years, she was a live event producer with First Night Boston.
Says Roach about her work with New Rep: I am here because the fight to keep our theaters open and alive is real. It has never been more important to reimagine, gather, and entertain. I am pleased to be part of this process.
Juanita A. Rodrigues (she, her, hers) (Lena) Juanita is a member of the theatre faculty at Boston Arts Academy; she was also artistic director of “TriCord Productions; which was nominated for an I.R.N.E award for best ensemble as part of Company One’s Fringe Festival for Boston’s’ 2003 theatre season. Juanita holds a B.S.S.P. in Speech and Communication, a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Emerson College, and a certificate of completion for Miesner Technique where she studied with Larry Silverberg. Her Directing Credits include A MORE PERFECT UNION by Kirsten Greenidge, and TWLIGHT IN LOS ANGELES (co-director, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Prospect High:Brooklyn by Daniel Robert Sullivan, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Was Enuf by Ntozake Shange, The Odd Couple (Female Version) by Neil Simon, Wilderness by Alice Childress, Joe Tuner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson, Blues for Mr. Charlie by James Baldwin, A day of Absence by Douglas Turner Ward, On Strivers Row by Abram Hill, A Soldiers Play by Charles Fuller, and Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe Juanita’s acting credits (theatre) include, Aunt Elegua in THE BROTHER SISTER PAYS by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Company One), Rebekah in SIX ROUNDS SIX LESSONS by John ADEkoje (Company One), Hannah Tupper in the Emerson Stage production of THE WITCH OF BLACK BIRD POND (guest artist), St. Monica and Henrietta Iscariot in THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT by Stephen Guirgis (Company One), Eunice in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE by Tennessee Williams (Roxbury Community College), and Mamie in GET RID OF THE ROACHES by Jacqui Parker (Women on Top Festival BCA). Film and television credits include Mary in Broad Squad by Bess Wohl, and Clinician Nancy in the film Knockaround Kids by John ADEkoje, Receptionist in Squeeze, Miramax; Radio Credits include the award-winning WGBH radio drama TURF by Robbie McCauley.
Damon Singletary (he/him/his) (Walter Lee) – New Rep debut. The Huntington: August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (u/s Seth Holly and Bynum Walker). Lyric Stage Company: Sister Act (Curtis), Fabulation Or, The Re-Education of Undine (Father/Others), The Wiz (Uncle Henry/Ensemble), Peter and the Starcatcher (Lord Leonard Aster), City of Angels (Big Six/Studio Guard/Dr. Madril). Umbrella Stage Company: The Colored Museum (Actor 2), Head Over Heels (Basilius), August Wilson’s Fences (Troy Maxson). The Gold Dust Orphans: A Grinchley Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Present), The Ebonic Woman (Dr. Lowe Hanger). Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Birdy (Rinaldi). Greater Boston Stage Company: Miss Holmes (Edwin/Superintendent). SpeakEasy Stage Company: Shakespeare in Love (Tilney/Sir Robert DeLesseps), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (SpeakEasy Stage Company). Damon is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, and thanks his wife Laurie, whose love and support is invaluable.
Lorraine Victoria Kanyike (She/Her/Hers): Lorraine is excited to be a part of the New Repertory Theatre Season! Past Credits include (regional): CLYDE’S (Huntington Theatre Company), Chicken and Biscuits (Front Porch Arts Collective), JOHN DESERVES TO DIE (Fresh Ink Theatre Company), The Colored Museum (Umbrella Stage Company), QUOTABLES! (Company One), BLKS (Speakeasy Stage Company), Splash Hatch on the E Going Down (Central Square Theater). Lorraine graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts and Africana Studies. She is excited for the new roles she’s taking on in her career, and to bring exciting work to life – classic and new!
Valyn Lyric Turner (she/her/hers) is an actor, playwright, and social justice poet from Sugar Hill, Georgia. Her recent acting credits include Ruby in Seven Guitars at Actors’ Shakespeare Project and Sally Hemmings in Kirsten Greenidge’s world premier of Little Row Boat, or Conjecture at Boston University’s School of Theatre. Valyn’s plays HALF and MARIAN have appeared at Boston University and Locust Grove High School. She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts and a BA in Spanish from Boston University. Valyn is passionate about theatre education, mentorship, and new work that reflects the new world.
Valyn is honored to get to live in the words of Hansberry and Scott and share the new life we find in them with all of you!
JOSHUA OLUMIDE (he/him) is thrilled to be working with New Repertory Theatre. Olumide caught the bug for performance in a small high school theatre production. After graduating, he made his debut on the big screen in the film, “Detroit” where he worked with Academy Award winning director, Kathryn Bigelow. Since then he’s appeared in various theatre, film and t.v. productions. You can catch him in the upcoming film, “American Fiction” starring Jeffrey Wright. Highlights of his theatre credits include: Macbeth (Hanover Theatre Rep) Romeo and Juliet (Classic Theatre of Maryland), Our Town (People’s Light), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival). Joshua hopes to create a sense of harmony through his work. Human connection is at its best when we let go of our judgments and allow our true spontaneous selves to flow.
Jon Vellante (he/him/his) is a Boston-based theater, film & TV actor. Recent credits include Fairview
(Speakeasy Stage Company); Much Ado About Nothing (Commonwealth Shakespeare
Company); Julia (HBO Max); The Taming of the Shrew (Sh*t-Faced Shakespeare); Listen to
Sipu (New Repertory Theatre); Machine Learning (Science on Stage – MIT & Central Square
Theater); and the short film Automate (winner, best actor – London Shorts). Jon also proudly
worked for two years as an actor with IBIS Consulting in partnership with Google for their
diversity, equity and inclusion training. For upcoming projects, visit jonvellante.com or
@guessimjonvellante on Instagram. Love to Amie & Nora
Kadahj Bennett (he/him) – Recent local credits include The Lehman Trilogy, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Common Ground Revisited, Dream Boston, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Huntington) Brown & Boozy, X Or, Betty Shabazz vs The Nation (Front Porch) People, Places & Things, Pass Over (SpeakEasy Stage), Quotables, Hype Man, Leftovers (Company One/ART), The Charles Lennox Experience (New Rep), Isolated Incidents (Broadway Podcast Network), and This Place Displaced (Actors Theater Boston). Bennett has been featured in a handful of Gods Closest Readings with the Front Porch. He is an Elliot Norton Award winner and a WBUR ARTery 25 Changemaker. Currently, Bennett is a teaching artist at both Zumix & Harvard University.
Alexis Rene Garcia, professionally known as Naheem Garcia (he/him/his), has been an actor and theatre educator for thirty years. He grew up in Boston, arriving here from Cuba with his mother, grandmother and aunt in 1968. This proud bilingual (English and Spanish) artist is known for his deep, mellifluous voice. As a teenager, Naheem developed his acting skills in Boston Youth Theater and received his formal training in theater arts at New African Company, where he has been a Distinguished Artist-In-Residence since 2004. Naheem is the Founder and lead teaching Artist for NG edutainment, an Arts/Education Program, founded in Boston Massachusetts. He is the Residence Teaching Artist and a member of the Huntington Theatre Company’s Education Department, for close to 30 years. Naheem was the Speaker of Residents for the METCO Program at Sharon High and Middle School, Sharon, MA, in the 2020-2022 school year. Working with the Boston Police Department’s youth program, Acting Up With the 5-0 Program. He is the Representative for the National Latino Committee, SAG-AFTRA, New England as well as a long time member of the union. Naheem is also the Artistic Director for the Oversoul Theatre Collective, and a member of the Board of Directors for Song Keepers, LTD. Most recently, Naheem had the honor and privilege to be the narrator for the King Embrace Monument located in the Boston Common, Boston, MA
Naheem has appeared in several prominent Hollywood-and independently-produced feature films. A selected list includes:
- Any Day Now Prison Guard
- YE! A John Oluwole ADEKOJE film (Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Tony Okungbowa)
- CLAIRE, (Dekota Johnson and Isabela Merced)
- Tire Town (Zandaya Coleman)
- Money Games ( Co-starring as Professor Gardner)
- HOLDOVERS ( Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Carrie Preston)
- I Just Wanna Dance With Somebody (Stanley Tucci, Naomi Ackie, Clarke Peters)
- Hocus Pocus 2 (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy)
- Somebody (The Whitney Houston Story. Feature)
- Chili (Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell, Octavia Spencer/ Apple TV)
- Kevin Can Go F Himself (AMC)
- The Sleepover (NetFlix Movie)
- Free Guy (Ryan Reynolds)
- Jungleland (Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Barden, Jack O’Connell)
- Equalizer2 (Denzel Washington)
- Daddy’s Home2 (Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow)
- Joy (Jennifer Lawrence),
- Black Mass (Johnny Depp)
- The Proposal (Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds)
- The Heat (Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy)
- Maiden Heist (Morgan Freeman, Christopher Waken, William H. Macy, Marsha Gay Harden)
- Purge3 Election Year (Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson)
Naheem’s work has been lauded by his peers and he received the The Brown Sugar Culture Excellence Award 2021, State Street-El Planeta Powermeter 100 of the Most Influential Latinx (2014), OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center-Sojourner Truth Award (2007) and In recognition of his excellence as a theatre educator, he represented the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation for NeighborWorks American and Community Leadership Institute Los Angeles California in 2017, in same year, he completed the Aesthetic Education Immersion program with the Lincoln Center Summer Forum at Julliard, New York, NY.
Naheem continues his path as an actor and theatre educator whose mission is to represent and encourage youth and audiences through his work.
Elizabeth Yvette Ramirez (they/she) is delighted to return to New Repertory Theatre after working on multiple special events in the last year, as well as Keyping during the pandemic, and Lonely Planet and Statements After an Arrest… in 2018. While found most often at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Elizabeth is very active throughout New England and has worked with City Ballet of Boston, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Hanover Theater Rep, Speakeasy Stage, Lyric Stage, Front Porch Arts Collective, Central Square Theater, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Greater Boston Stage Company, and Reagle Music Theater. When not backstage, they advise student stage managers at Wellesley College, and work with Flat Earth Theater as company member. Proud elected councilor for Actors’ Equity.
Athéna-Gwendolyn Baptiste (They|Them|Theirs) is a Trinidadian-American musician, actor and stage manager in the Greater Boston area. Some of their stage management team credits include Breath and Imagination, The Cake (Lyric Stage Company of Boston), A Christmas Carol, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Central Square Theater). They have also acted in capacities such as: anti-racism consultant, Ain’t Misbehavin’, (Central Square Theater, Greater Boston Stage Company, the Front Porch Arts Collective). Performance credits include: Madame White Snake (Opera Boston), Youth Underground, Various (Central Square Theater), Boston Playwrights Festival.
Janie E. Howland (Scenic Designer) has been a member of the New Rep family for 25 years and is thrilled to return! Recent designs include: Color Purple (Umbrella Stage), Rooted (Lyric Stage Company), Greater Boston New Works Festival (Moonbox), Urban Nutcracker (year 7, City Ballet of Boston), English (Speakeasy Stage), Turn of the Screw (New England Conservatory), 3 Decembers (Berkshire Opera Festival), Paradise Blue (Gloucester Stage). Venues include: NYC Dance Alliance, Lynn Redgrave Theatre (NY), InterAct Theatre (PA), Mass MOCA, Reagle Players, ASP, Odyssey Opera, Weston Playhouse (VT), Umbrella Stage, North Shore Music Theatre, Central Square Theatre, Ohio Star Theatre(OH), Company One, Merrimack Rep, Seacoast Rep, NJ Shakespeare Festival (NJ). 4 time Elliot Norton Award winner, 4 time IRNE Award winner; adjunct faculty at BSU, Emerson and Wellesley College. Founder of the Prop Co-Op. USA Local 829. www.janiehowland.com
James Cannon (he/him) is a freelance audio engineer, sound designer, composer, and music producer based in Watertown, MA. He is thrilled to be making his debut at the New Repertory Theatre this season! In recent years, his work has been heard at The Umbrella Stage Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Greater Boston Stage Company, Fresh Ink Theater Company, Moonbox Productions, Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, Wellesley Theater Project, The Hovey Players, Boston Arts Academy, and many more on productions of all sizes.
Outside of theater, he mixes audio for concerts and corporate events and also produces hip hop music for local artists like Red Shaydez, Brandie Blaze, Joe Grizzly, J. Jordan. Somewhere in there he finds time for a little sleep. If you want to nerd more about any and all things audio, or if you are looking for the perfect chili recipe, you can feel free to email him at MoreThanFaders@gmail.com
Becca Jewett (She/Her) was the 2015 recipient of the Virgil C. Jonson Award for Excellence in Costume Design. She is currently a freelance costumer. Her most recent design credits include Costume Designer at MRT’s production of “A Christmas Carol”, Speakeasy’s “Fairview” and “The Sound Inside”. Her other recent credits at New Rep include, “Trayf”, “We Will Not be Silent”, “Heartland” and “Blackberry Winter”. Greater Boston Productions include, Costume Designer for Umbrella Arts Center’s “The Colored Museum”, Greater Boston Stage Company’s Production of “Last Night at Bowl-Mor Lanes”, and Mask Designer for the Liars and Believers show “A Story Beyond”. Other recent credits include Crafts Department at the Glimmerglass Festival 2014-2017, Costume Shop Manager at Commonwealth Shakespeare Summer 2018, and Assistant Dyer Painter at the Santa Fe Opera 2019-Present. She looks forward to working on many new creative projects and hopes you enjoy the show.
Roisin Daly (she/they) is a Boston based multi-hyphenate artist. Her recent credits include costume designer for Sound of Music, Jr, assistant director for Cinderella (Philipstown Depot Theatre), and stage manager for Constellations (Gettysburg College). She recently graduated from Gettysburg College.
Constance Cifelli (she/her/hers) recently graduated from Suffolk University with a B.A. in theatre. She has a wide variety of interests in the arts, and looks forward to beginning her theatrical career in Boston.
Aliyah Harris (she/her) is grateful to return to New Rep in her role as the understudy for Ruth. After her New Rep debut as Kai in Aurora, she participated in Beyond the Blues, an interactive musical in Lynn, where the audience voted her character Sharika, the winner of the singing competition all four nights. She hopes the audience appreciates the timelessness of this American story.
Amanda Reynolds (She/Her) was born in raised in New York City. She has recently made her Off-broadway at The Connelly Theater as Paige in “One Day Down” and was a city finalist in The National August Wilson Monologue Competition. She is an alumni of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art, & Performing Arts and is currently pursuing a BFA in Theater Arts at Boston University. Amanda is so excited to take part in this wonderful season.
Lucas Boniface (he/him/his) is a New York City and Boston based actor & writer. Lucas is a recent graduate from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a B.F.A. in Contemporary Theater. His recent credits include the Off-Broadway workshop of “Toothy’s Treasure” at the Jerry Orbach Theater (The Narrator), as well as “And Your Little Dog Too” at Apollinaire Theater Company” (Stefan). His work as a student at Boston Conservatory included producing his original plays “Sinkhole” and “In His Image,” as well as performing in “Everybody,” “Macbeth,” and “The Crucible.”
◊ member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
º member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829