Best Play - 2013
A Raisin in the Sun
This was what excellence looked like in the 2012-13 theater season, an unmissable production that should have humbled any theater professionals lucky enough to see it. Lorraine Hansberry's multifaceted meditation on race, class, housing, family, and the American dream remains devastatingly accurate when performed as flawlessly as Dramaworks' cast of 12. Ethan Henry was fierce and desperate as Walter, the crestfallen cabdriver whose business decisions put the family's future in peril; Joniece Abbot Pratt brought nuance and relatability to her role as Walter's progressive sister; and Pat Bowie's Mama, especially, transcended the familiar trappings of her stone-cold matriarch. In her performance, you glimpsed the history of travesties she's endured, her noble dignity, and the fear she could exude in her authority. Guest director Seret Scott had the audacity to start the play slowly, lingering longer than most on the banal reality of the family's domestic life, a decision that only made the play's dramatic confrontations resound even louder.