BEYOND THE STAGE: Lorraine Hansberry Biopic in the Works!


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Lorraine Hansberry has left an inimitable legacy that has changed the world, and shaped the perspective of the greatest artists of every generation that has followed. Remarkably known for A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry was the first black playwright, and the youngest American, to win a New York Critics’ Award. This play, about a struggling black family in Chicago, was the first play on Broadway produced by an African-American woman opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on March 11, 1959.


Photo Credit: Taye Hansberry

Hansberry’s name is back in the news and for good reason! Long time collaborators Taye Hansberry (grand-niece of Lorraine Hansberry and author of stuffshelikes), and Numa Perrier (The Couple) are penning a script to a film that will star Taye in the title role, and will be directed by Perrier. The film will be an unconventional biopic based on Hansberry’s life.

If you’re a fan of the breakout show Scandal you’ll be happy to know that Will Stewart, Scandal’s casting director, is casting this project as well. Lucky for us, some of the announcements have already been made! As mentioned earlier, Taye Hansberry will take on the role of Lorraine Hansberry, Jaleel White will be playing Hansberry’s close friend and confidant, James Baldwin. However, one of the most popular announcements is the involvement of Issa Rae (An american actress and writer, creator of the youtube workplace- comedy series, Awkward Black Girl). Issa is set to play Nina Simone, a close friend of Lorraine Hansberry until her death.


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We’ve always know Hansberry to be involved in civil rights and we are quite familiar with her highly acclaimed works; however, here at Arts in Color, we find ourselves overwhelmingly interested in the story of the essence of the woman that is Miss Lorraine Hansberry. It will be interesting to see how the film explores her life digging deeper into some controversies including,  lesbianism and her reticence to coming out.

Production is slated to begin in early fall, with the project now heading into the pre-production stage.

What do you think about the casting? Will you be watching this new film? 

Credit: Shadow and Act

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