Ethel Barrymore Theatre, (3/11/1959 - 10/17/1959)
Belasco Theatre, (10/19/1959 - 6/25/1960)

First Preview: Mar 10, 1959
Opening Date: Mar 11, 1959
Closing Date: Jun 25, 1960
Total Previews: 1
Total Performances: 530

Category: Play, Drama, Original, Broadway
Description: A play in three acts
Setting: Chicago's Southside. Sometime between World War II and the present.
Comments: "What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / Like a raisin in the sun? / Or fester like a sore -- / And then run? / Does it stink like rotten meat? / Or crust and sugar over -- / Like a syrupy sweet? / Maybe it just sags / like a heavy load. / Or does it explode?" --Langston Hughes

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization

Produced by Philip Rose and David J. Cogan

Written by Lorraine Hansberry

Directed by Lloyd Richards

Designed by Ralph Alswang; Lighted by Ralph Alswang; Costumes by Virginia Volland; Sound Design by Masque Sound Engineering Company

General Manager: Walter Fried

Production Stage Manager: Leonard Auerbach; Stage Manager: Mervyn Williams

Press Representative: James D. Proctor and Merle Debuskey; Advertising: The Blaine Thompson Company and Fred Golden; Assistant to the Producer: Kenneth Schwartz and Mel Howard

Opening Night Cast

Sidney PoitierWalter Lee Younger
Ruby DeeRuth Younger
Ivan DixonJoseph Asagai
Lonne Elder IIIBobo
John FiedlerKarl Lindner
Louis GossettGeorge Murchison
Ed HallMoving Man
Claudia McNeilLena Younger
Diana SandsBeneatha Younger
Glynn TurmanTravis Younger
Douglas TurnerMoving Man

Understudies: Frances Foster (Beneatha Younger, Ruth Younger), Ed Hall (George Murchison, Joseph Asagai), Beah Richards (Lena Younger), Douglas Turner (Bobo, Walter Lee Younger) and Mervyn Williams (Karl Lindner)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 1960 Best Play [nominee] 

Written by Lorraine Hansberry; Produced by Philip Rose and David J. Cogan

 1960 Best Actor in Play [nominee] 

Sidney Poitier

 1960 Best Actress in a Play [nominee] 

Claudia McNeil

 1960 Best Direction of a Play [nominee] 

Lloyd Richards

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Ethel Barrymore Theatre

(3/11/1959 - 10/17/1959)


Ossie Davis
Walter Lee Younger
Frances Williams
Lena Younger

Belasco Theatre

(10/19/1959 - 6/25/1960)

Production Stage Manager: Peter Lawrence.


Ossie Davis
Walter Lee Younger
Ed Hall
Joseph Asagai
Lincoln Kilpatrick
Moving Man
Charles Richardson
Travis Younger

Understudy: Billie Allen (Beneatha Younger), Tyrone Cooper (Travis Younger), Lincoln Kilpatrick (George Murchison, Joseph Asagai), Elwood Smith (Walter Lee Younger).

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