(CBS) — At the Goodman Theatre, they’re staging “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” part of a month-long celebration honoring the playwright and Chicago icon Lorraine Hansberry.
Today, Chicago high school students saw the play and learned about more about Hansberry, whose most famous work was set on Chicago South Side CBS 2’s Jim Williams.READ MORE: 22-Year-Old Shot While Sitting In West Chatham Home
Lorraine Hansberry found inspiration at 64th and Rhodes, where her family moved in the 1930s despite hostility and a restrictive covenant designed to keep the neighborhood all-white.
She turned it into theatrical gold.
Hansberry’s “Raisin in the Sun” is considered a masterpiece. But her life’s work included much than this one great play.
“I think I would want people to see Lorraine Hansberry for more than ‘Raisin in the Sun’ in Black History Month,” said Willa Taylor, director of education and community engagement at the Goodman Theatre.
The Goodman Theatre is staging Hansberry’s less known work, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window.”
The play it set in 1960s New York; its cast nearly all-white and shows Hansberry’s versatility as the characters decide whether to change their lives and whether to change society.READ MORE: 'We're Back': Store Owner Reopens Chicago Sports On Michigan Avenue After 2020 Unrest
“They have the power, each individual including all of our students, have the power to make change in the world and make the world the way we would want it to be.”
The Goodman hosted Chicago high school students for a performance and a discussion with the cast.
Activism is timeless, the students believe.
“You can say things but if you don’t do it, if you don’t act, then nothing’s going to happen,” said Jennifer.
Lorraine Hansberry died of cancer in 1965.
“Her voice was unique and singular,” Taylor said. “Her brilliance resonates even with us today.”
Lorraine Hansberry would have celebrated her 86th birthday on May 19 and next week in addition to the performances at the Goodman Theatre, scholars will lead discussions on her work and even offer a tour of Hansberry’s old Chicago’s neighborhood near Washington Park.MORE NEWS: Man Shot And Killed In Near North
The Goodman Theatre has more information on its website, www.goodmantheatre.org.