The Justice Theater Project
Clare Hall, St. Francis of Assisi
11401 Leesville Rd., Raleigh
Through Sept. 21

Another tight ensemble delivers a rewarding experience in the Justice Theater Project’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Directors Sidney Edwards and Terra Hodge bring Lorraine Hansberry’s classic 1959 drama to life through an impressive series of character studies.

Joseph Callender finds the sarcasm, anguish and pride in a multi-faceted Walter Lee Younger, while Connie McCoy Rogers evinces the stoic fatigue of his wife, Ruth. The couple lives with their son, Travis (Kaylon Edwards), in increasing distress in a tenement on Chicago’s south side with Walter’s mom, Lena (a crisp Rozlyn Sorrell), and his sister, Beneatha (vivacious Aurelia Belfield).

A bequest from a life-insurance policy offers the family a gleam of economic hope, but threatens to split them apart when they differ on how the money should be spent. Walter Lee’s plans for financial advancement won’t square with Lena’s religious views. Meanwhile, Beneatha is steadily working her way toward med school.

Edwards and Hodge keep upping the stakes through Lena’s decision about the money and a potentially tragic aftermath. As they do, the cast movingly depicts a family desperately looking for the exit from a racial and socioeconomic maze.

This article appeared in print with the headline “The soul of wit”