Lorraine Hansberry's To Be Young, Gifted and Black
About To Be Young, Gifted and Black
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publishing of To Be Young, Gifted and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in her Own Words, a 1969 collection of autobiographical writings by the playwright and author best known for A Raisin in the Sun. Following her untimely death at age 34 in 1965, Hansberry’s ex-husband, songwriter and poet Robert Nemiroff, compiled her unpublished writings and adapted them into a stage play that ran from 1968 to 1969 off Broadway.
The Pop-up African American History Month Performances have been in development since the fall of 2018. Under the direction of Howard University professor and NEWorks teaching-artist Eric Ruffin, students have been exposed to fundamental concepts of devised theatre. With these performances, students are applying their learning by drawing inspiration from Lorraine Hansberry's To Be Young, Gifted and Black to create original vignettes that reveal their truths about the world and their perceived place in it.
NEWorks is proud to continue its longstanding relationship with Howard University Department of Theatre Arts. In 2015, NEWorks facilitated and co-produced two mountings of Howard's production of Sarafina! at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA). The latter performance was presented as a free educational concert for more than 5,000 youth from the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
NEWorks ColLab with Howard University Department of Theatre Arts
Conceived/Produced by Nolan Williams, Jr.
Directed by Eric Ruffin
To celebrate African American History Month, NEWorks is pleased to partner with Busboys and Poets to present pop-up performances of original vignettes inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's To Be Young, Gifted and Black. Each pop-up performance features first-year student actors from the Howard University Department of Theatre Arts performing works they have collaboratively composed under the direction of Eric Ruffin, professor at Howard University and Duke Ellington School for the Arts and director of the Helen-Hayes-Award-winning Black Nativity.
NEWorks Productions & Busboys and Poets
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PHOTO CREDITS: K. DuBose for NEWorks Productions ▪ Billy Heart for NEWorks Productions ▪ DerekBrad Photography ▪ Nathea Lee, PhotoBravura ▪ Jordan August ▪ Mel Epps ▪
Courtesy of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts ▪ Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ▪ Courtesy of Vital Voices