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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

The Kalamazoo Civic brings "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Clybourne Park" to stage, bridging Younger family stories by 50 years

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Gerald King
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Kalamazoo Civic
A scene from the Kalamazoo Civic's "A Raisin in the Sun"
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Gerald King
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Kalamazoo Civic
A scene from "A Raisin in the Sun"

Plays about the Younger family by two different playwrights written 50 years apart will be presented as a pair this in January and February at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. Lorraine Hansberry's classic A Raisin in the Sun, which introduced the members of the Younger clan in 1959, opens on Jan 13. Directed by Anthony Hamilton, it tells the story of a Chicago-based Black American family of five who are tantalizingly close to reaching a new level of financial security but are daunted by racist barriers and their own differing opinions over which path to take: purchasing a home in the white neighborhood of Clybourne Park, or starting a liquor business.

Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2011, brings us the story of the family that is selling their home to the Youngers, and their conflict with their White neighbors who are against them selling to a Black family. The second act jumps generations ahead, when the neighborhood and remaining generations are facing a different kind of upheaval.

Anthony Hamilton and Mary Redmon both discuss the themes of the plays they're directing and talk about bringing their visions to stage at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, citing excellent casts and production teams that have made the material their own. A Raisin in the Sun is set to run Jan 13 - 22.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.
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