A Raisin in the Sun Panel Discussion at the Guthrie Theater

Work in Progress with Christopher Wong Michaelson

Feb 23 2023 • 37 mins

In this episode, host, Christopher Michaelson, intermixes his commentary with a recording of a panel discussion taken during an in-person event at the Guthrie Theater in May 2022. The special event titled, A Raisin in the Sun: Panel Discussion and Performance, was an experiential opportunity aimed at helping shape the role of business in cultivating racial justice and social equity in the Twin Cities community.

Esteemed panelists included Austene Van, director of A Raisin in the Sun, founder of the New Dawn Theater Company, and producing artistic director of the Yellow Tree Theater; Dr. Yohuru Williams, founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas; and panel moderator, Tina Burnside, cofounder and curator of the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG).

A Raisin in the Sun overview:
"What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"

In 1951, poet Langston Hughes posed these questions, and Lorraine Hansberry answered with a theatrical masterpiece that broke down racial barriers both on and off stage. The play follows the three-generation Younger family as they grapple with different definitions of the American dream and how to achieve it. When the matriarch, Lena, buys a home in an all-white neighborhood, the Youngers are greeted by thinly veiled racism and financial pitfalls that threaten to pull the family apart and push their dream out of reach.

With special thanks to the generous sponsors for the evenings' events: Guthrie Theater, Robins Kaplan, Ryan Companies, SPS Commerce, Sunrise Banks, Target, US Bank, Verizon, the Racial Justice Initiative, and the Melrose & The Toro Company Center for Principled Leadership.

Thanks for listening to Work in Progress with Christopher Wong Michaelson.