Interview with Tom McNally – A Raisin in the Sun

raisin-ruth-lena1. Why did you choose to direct A Raisin in the Sun as your last LTR show?

“I’ve wanted to direct this play my entire career. It may be my favorite play. Also, I wanted to show off the extraordinarily diverse talent that comes to UNC.”

2. What has been the most challenging part of directing this play?

“It’s been so easy, as with all productions, I work very hard on moment to moment and really pinpointing the orchestration (the ups and downs) and Ms. Hansberry is as good at this as Ibsen or Arthur Miller. The joy is helping actors to find those moments- with this cast, no problem!”

3. What do you want audiences to take away from this production?

“The play is based on the following section of a poem by the great Langston Hughes:

‘What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrup sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?’

A Raisin in the Sun is both a look back and a stark look at the present. The issue of prejudice in housing has certainly improved, but now we try to stop people from voting. We’ve made progress- but still have a long way to go. More than anything, I hope the audience sees this play as one about a family- any family- that overcomes struggles and won’t let their dreams die.”