By SUE SUCHYTA
The theater department at Henry Ford College has plenty to offer audiences, aspiring actors and technicians this coming season. Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” opened a two-weekend run Aug. 6, and audition dates for the winter and spring shows have been set.
HFC’s “A Raisin in the Sun” continues with performances at 8 p.m. Aug. 13 to 15, and 2 p.m. Aug. 16 in Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, 5105 Evergreen Road in Dearborn.
Tickets are $12 general admission, and $10 for HFC staff and students. For more information, call 313-845-9817. To order tickets online, go to theatre.hfcc.edu.
When an African-American family living in poverty in Chicago receives a windfall insurance check, the family chooses to spend some of the money to move to an all-white neighborhood.
When the show debuted on Broadway in 1959, it was a turning point in American theater, at time when audiences were predominately white.
It was also the first Broadway play written by an African-American woman.
Director Christopher Bremer said “A Raisin in the Sun” ranks among the best 100 plays, and Hansberry had amazing insight into the human condition as well as the future direction of African-American culture before the civil rights movement began.
The play represents American families of many different backgrounds who have struggled to assimilate, Bremer said.
“If you were an Italian family who struggled to be assimilated into this country, an Arabic family, a Greek family, whatever place that you came from, everyone has had to fight to be accepted,” Bremer said. “That’s what this play is – how we stand up, become part of society, fighting the prejudices that sadly, everyone has had to fight.”
The cast includes Detroit residents Gloria E. Niles as matriarch Lena Younger, and London Johnson as Walter Younger; Anita Banks-Holsey of Westland as Ruth Younger, Edward Austin of Redford Township as Travis Younger, and Taylor Wilson of Lincoln Park as Beneatha Younger.
Beneatha’s two suitors are played by Marcellus Hogan of Detroit as Joseph Asagai, and Terrence Wilburn of Ypsilanti as George Murchison.
Matt Van Houten of Allen Park plays Karl Lindner, a white representative of the neighborhood they plan to move into, who offers to buy them out.
HFC TO HOLD AUDITIONS FOR ‘A CHRISTMAS STORY’
Director Judith Fletcher will hold auditions for Henry Ford College’s production of Phillip Grecian’s “A Christmas Story,” based on humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoirs, at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 and 27 in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, 5101 Evergreen Road in Dearborn.
Performances are 7 p.m. Nov. 20 and 21, and Dec. 4 and 5; 2 p.m. Nov. 21 and 22, and Dec. 5 and 6; with 10 a.m. school performances Nov. 23, 25, and 30, and Dec. 2 and 4.
Auditions will include cold readings from the script. There are roles for children and adults.
Technical and support positions are also available. Those working on or off stage will need to enroll in a theater class at HFC.
Rehearsal begin Sept. 1 and run from 7 to 10 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday until the show opens.
Set in the Midwest in the 1940s, the story follows 9-year-old Ralphie’s quest for a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. His mother, teacher, and even the department store Santa warn him that he will “shoot your eye out,” but Ralphie has his heart set on his goal.
The play includes elements of the movie, including the family’s temperamental furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the wet tongue on a cold lamppost dare; and Ralphie’s father winning a woman’s fishnet leg lamp.
Roles available include: Ralphie Parker, Ralph Parker, Esther Jane Alberry, Flick, Helen Weathers, Miss Shields, Ralphie’s mother, Schwartz, the Old Man, Randy, and the department store Santa.
Direct questions to director Judith Fletcher at [email protected].
HFC TO HOLD AUDITIONS FOR 2016 SPRING SHOW
A mandatory information meeting for those interested in auditioning for Tracey Letts’ “Bug” will take place from 1 to 4:45 p.m. in room F-161 of the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the HFC main campus.
Director George Popovich said those planning to audition should plan to stay the entire time to watch a film version of the story.
He said the show contains simulated violence, simulated drug use, profanity, and has a negative world view, and will not appeal to everyone, but is written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Those auditioning must be HFC theater majors, with an emphasis on acting, and be enrolled in at least six credit hours in HFC’s 2016 spring semester. No one under 18 will be allowed to audition.
Those cast must enroll in Theatre 142, theatrical production, for the 2016 Winter semester at HFC, which meets 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Those who have already taken the class will enroll in another class designated by Popovich.
For the Spring 2016 semester, those in the cast will be required to take either Theater 134 – technical theater spec. – rotating skills, or Theater 233 – advanced technical theater.
To view a script for the play, contact Popovich at 313-845-6478 or at [email protected].
The show requires a two-semester commitment.
During the Winter semester, students will learn about the Meisner, Stanislavski, and practical aesthetics approaches to acting.
The script will be explored using improvisation, sensory and psychological games and exercises.
The show will be blocked midway through the Winter semester, and staged during the Spring semester.
Gerry Dzuiblinski will work with students interested in set design. Contact him at 313-845-9817 for class enrollment and other information.
Students interested in stage management and sound design for the production should contact Popovich at 313-845-6478 or at [email protected].