WEATHER FORECAST: Black Actors Prepare for Tsunami of “A Raisin in the Sun” Casting Announcements
by Denzel Belin. @from_washington.
ATLANTA – Representatives from the Black Leagues of All Creatives Together Overcoming Racist Stereotypes (BLACTORS) shared their concern today regarding theaters across the United States looking for “diverse talent” and how this may result in an unsustainable number of casting calls for Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun, a play that debuted in 1959, which according to these theaters is “not too long ago”, the organization confirmed.
“When you think about it, the play was really ahead of its time,” sighed Maurice Whittaker, active BLACTOR member since 2008. “While I was excited for the world to embrace the likes of Dominique Morisseau and Jeremy O. Harris, I guess that we had to meet the public where they are at: the beginning.”
Some members of the organization are seeing this glass not as half empty, but three fifths full. Donna Watts, an original member of BLACTORS since its inception in 2001, shared her optimism toward the boon of this singular story.
“I’ve done this show so many times, so the audition process will be a cake walk,” noted Watts. “I mean, I am literally never called in for any other show, but finally, my very, very, very specific type cast that my college professor, casting agent, and every older white woman who mistook me for an usher at the theater told me I had is finally paying off. This is my West Side Story!”
Carlton Jackson, a playwright who also happens to be Black, views the rise in Hansberry’s tale to be the start of actual progress within the American theater scene.
“This gives me hope,” claimed Jackson. “One day, maybe I can be the voice of a generation that was selected not by my peers, but instead to sweepingly represent all of them.”
At press time, Whittaker also shared that prepping this monologue is a welcomed distraction from the tedious rounds of Hamilton auditions, or as it is known among the theater world, “the diverse show, but with music and dancing.”