Drama students delivered a stunning performance of Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, as part of Southwark College's Creative Arts Summer Show.
The play is named after a line from Langston Hughes' famous poem ‘Harlem’, considered one of the most influential poems of the 20th century. It explores the pain of the unrealised dreams of the African American Community as they navigate a racist and unfair country.
In the lead-up to the play, the students immersed themselves in the culture and history of 1950s America, taking note of important events such as the Civil Rights Movement. With this knowledge, they truly understood their characters and represented them accurately, channelling their hopes and fears. From their body language to their realistic 1950s costumes, they successfully captured the play's core themes.
A Raisin in the Sun is set in Chicago during the 1950s. It explores the lives of the Youngers, a Black family waiting to receive a $10,000 insurance cheque after the death of Mr Younger, the head of the household. As each family member dreams of a new future for themselves based on this new wealth, they clash over who should receive the money and their different motivations. The play explores the importance of dreams, hope, and family in the face of a profoundly hostile and racist society.
Level 3 Drama student Vanessa Oliveira, who played Ruth Younger, said: "This play was fun to act in, and I learnt a lot from my role as Ruth. This year we've explored different genres of drama, allowing me to develop my acting techniques and widen my range of knowledge which will help me in my career goals of entering the performing arts industry."
Jane Button, Principal at Southwark College, said: "It is truly inspiring to hear about our talented drama students' performance as part of this year's Southwark College Creative Arts Summer Show. The plays bring awareness to important social issues such as racism and emphasise the significance of hope. Our teaching team are very proud of the care and sensitivity the students showed as they took on their roles. Hearing about their passion for the craft and the hard work that went on behind the scenes to bring this play to the stage was a real pleasure. I look forward to their next performance and learning more about their achievements in the industry as they progress in their careers."
To find out more about the drama courses on offer at Southwark College, visit southwark.ac.uk/drama