The Black Rep is bringing the iconic 1950s drama “A Raisin in the Sun” back to St. Louis.
This is the first time the company will stage “A Raisin in the Sun,” although 10 years ago it presented “Raisin,” a musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s drama about a black family’s experiences in Chicago.
“It is an American story. It is definitely about dreams and living life on the American landscape for the African-American and the quest for the piece of pie,” said actress Andrea Frye, who plays “Mama” Lena Younger.
The musical "Purlie" is a “biting satire” about race relations according to The Black Rep founder Ron Himes. Himes is adamant about the show’s contemporary relevance in view of the Ferguson protests.
“The play deals with civil rights issues; it deals with racial bigotry; it deals with Southern white privilege and a community that is not willing to change and integrate; and that all sounds very familiar,” he said.
A member of the St. Louis Zoo-Museum District board is reviving the prospect of a new subdistrict of black arts organizations.
An amendment to House Bill 186, passed by the Missouri legislature in 2005, allows the creation of the African American History Museum and Cultural District. But adding it to the ZMD would have to be approved by popular vote — and an election can cost up to $1 million — so the issue has languished for nine years.
There are many reasons you might want to see the Black Rep’s current production of Ntozake Shange’s poem series “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” at the Missouri History Museum.
Of course, you get that deep, hard look into the lives of black women in the 1970s as seven characters wearing seven different colors leap, lament and laugh their way through Shange’s classic language.
(l-r) Justin Ivan Brown, Ron Himes, and Ronald L. Connor in the Black Rep's production of "The Whipping Man," which the company performed in last year's season at The Grandel Theatre. This year the company will be housed at the Emerson Performance Center on the campus of Harris-Stowe State University.
After being ousted from their home at The Grandel Theatre in Grand Center, The Black Rep theater company has found a new place for its productions at Harris-Stowe State University.
The company will now hold its performances at the Emerson Performance Center on the school’s campus, which seats over 200. The Grandel Theatre was owned by Grand Center Incorporated, which sold it earlier this summer.
Last year, Ron Conner led Black Rep casts in four out of five productions, and from the first, became one of my favorite actors to watch. This year he leads the Black Rep away from its twenty-six year home at the Grandel Theater to the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theater on the campus of Washington University and opens the new season with a sizzling one man show, Emergency. (The Black Rep was recently unceremoniously dumped from their long-time home. Hotchner will not be a permanent space for them, but was the perfect space for this particular show.)