June 21, 2023 – July 2, 2023
A Raisin in the Sun is a poignant drama that almost everyone can relate to, which is to pursue and live their American dream. The Youngers are an African-American family living in poverty on the South Side of Chicago. The family lives in a small apartment and struggles to make do with their little money. Nevertheless, they desire to pursue their American dreams like everybody else. Lena Younger (Mama), the family’s matriarch, receives a $10,000 life insurance check from her husband’s death. Mama’s American dream is to move her family into a new house in a nice neighborhood and help finance Beneatha’s, her daughter, medical school. However, Walter, her son, also has his American dream: to invest that money into his so-called business proposition, a liquor store. The tension escalates among the family members as Ruth, Walter’s wife, is pregnant with their second child, and the baby’s future is uncertain. After losing his part of the investment money, Walter has to think, “What’s best for the family, especially his young son, Travis,” who admires his father. Ultimately, they experience the bliss of living their American dream by moving into the house together.
This play is uniquely performed by the Deaf, HoH (Hard of Hearing), and CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult) African-American cast, which reveals the perspective of Black Deaf culture and the use of American Sign Language (ASL) and Black American Sign Language (BASL) during the 1950s. The play is performed simultaneously in mixed ASL/BASL, SimCom (simultaneous communication), and spoken English.
Visionaries of the Creative Arts (VOCA), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, was established in July 2019 in response to the critical need to support the works of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing BIPOC artists all together locally and nationwide. The Deaf/HoH BIPOC community and its artists have been overlooked and underrepresented in mainstream and Deaf culture, a form of social injustice that VOCA stands to redress.