SWEET LORRAINE—NEW PLAY ABOUT FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN LORRAINE HANSBERRY AND JAMES BALDWIN

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[Black Theater News]
"Sweet Lorraine" is a new theatrical play about the friendship between playwright Lorraine Hansberry and writer James Baldwin.
Photo: "Sweet Lorraine" flyer

Rebel Theater Company, in association with the NAACP Brooklyn Branch Equity in the Arts and Culture Committee, and Rave Theater Festival, will present Sweet Lorraine, a new play written by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj and Adam Mace, and conceived and directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj.

Sweet Lorraine stars Tony and Grammy Award nominee Valisia LeKae (Motown the Musical, The Book of Mormon) as Lorraine Hansberry and Christopher Augustin (Dreamgirls, Mother Emmanuel) as James Baldwin. The production will play five performances as part of the inaugural 2019 Rave Theater Festival. Tickets are available at www.SweetLorraineThePlay.com and thirty (30) minutes before the performance at the Teatro LaTea box office.

Sweet Lorraine is a theatrical interpretation of the final conversation had between best friends, Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin in Lorraine’s New York City hospital room in January 1965. The play is set one week prior to Lorraine’s passing from pancreatic cancer and explores the complex, dynamic and often heated relationship between these two prolific, creative giants and American artists and activists.

“The world is very divided right now and it is vital to find work and creative space where stories like Sweet Lorraine can be shared, co-writer/director Maharaj said. As artists and activists, our play reminds us all that – One, love wins. Two, Lorraine and James were fighting many of the same societal ills that we find ourselves fighting today, both politically and socially.”

Maharaj continues, “As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of A Raisin in the Sun and the renaissance of James Baldwin’s works with successful projects like “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” it’s really important to know the human beings that created these works along with their incredible canon of art that continues to inspire generations.”

Sweet Lorraine marks Tony and Grammy nominee Valisia LeKae’s return to the New York stage. “I am honored to tell the story of Lorraine Hansberry during the last week of her life. She has left us all such an amazing legacy and her work continues to inspire the masses 54 years after her death, LeKae said. As a woman who has faced her own battle with cancer, I am fully aware of what that feels and looks like. In her death, I honor the life she lived and the sacrifices she made for African American women like myself and others.

“The Sweet Lorraine production team also includes: Adam Mace (Executive Producer), Abdul Tubman (Executive Producer), Paul Wilt (Associate Producer/Sound Design/Production Manager), Ali Coopersmith (Associate Producer), Ciara Walton (Associate Producer), Valisia LeKae (Associate Producer), Leslie Shane Bernstein (Costume Design), and Douglas Cox (Lighting Design).

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