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(LITERATURE AND POETRY.) HANSBERRY, LORRAINE. A Raisin in the Sun, a Drama in Three Acts. The Stage Director's Copy. Approximately one hundred unnumbered pages, covered with edits, and corrections; about half the pages printed with the otherwise blank versos covered with holograph notes in pen and pencil; copious marginalia, and cues. Enclosed in a large ring binder. New York, 1959
the stage manager's heavily annotated copy of the first play by an african american woman to be produced on broadway. A unique copy, belonging to James Wall, (1917-2010), stage manager for the 1959 production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic work. Wall has covered the pages with his notes for cues, etc. The stage manager controls everything that goes on, on the stage, from the lighting, placement of a chair, or the ringing of a phone--how long and when it rings in regard to the cues in the script--the entrances, exits, curtains etc. The stage manager is like the conductor of a moving orchestra, in control of every nuance of the production, and it is all here in Wall's hand. There are in addition copious changes in dialogue as well throughout, no doubt suggested by, or approved by Ms. Hansberry. After touring to positive reviews, "Raisin" debuted at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on March 11, 1959, with Sidney Poitier as Walter and Ruby Dee as Ruth. With the exception of one minor character, the entire cast was black, something unheard of on Broadway in 1959. The reviewers loved the play, and after a move to the Belasco Theatre in October, the play ran for 550 performances. The title for the play comes from a Langston Hughes poem: "What happens to a dream deferred, Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"