The first of a two-part documentary program celebrating the life of Black playwright Lorraine Hansberry (1930 - 1965). Hansberry was the author of the plays A Raisin in the Sun and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, as well as several plays unfinished in her lifetime, such as Toussaint, The Arrival of Mr. Todog, The Drinking Gourd, and What Use Are Flowers?. Heard on this program are excerpts from the large body of work she left behind at the time of her death - plays, poetry, autobiography and criticism - recited by many of her contemporaries in the American theater, along with tapes of interviews with Hansberry herself. Broadcast in two parts, this episode features readings from The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window and her unpublished plays. Narrated by Harold Scott. Produced by Theodore Rubin for WBAI, with assistance by Sid Presberg. Material selection, direction and continuity by Robert Nemiroff.
In addition to Hansberry, this program features the following voices: Part 1: Anne Bancroft, Elaine May, Louis Gossett, Jr., Colleen Dewhurst, Harold Scott, Gabriel Dell, Rosemary Murphy, Claudia McNeil, Rip Torn, Leslie Rivers, Will Geer, Cicely Tyson, James Earl Jones, Rita Moreno; Part 2: Ralph Bellamy, Rosemary Murphy, Angela Lansbury, Shauneille Perry, Theodore Bikel, Rita Moreno, Gabriel Dell, Diana Sands, Harold Scott, Claire Bloom, Rod Steiger, Howard Da Silva; Part 3: Anne Jackson, Diana Sands, Eli Wallach, Ben Aliza, Gabriel Dell, Claire Bloom, Rod Steiger, Uta Hagen, Bette Davis, Herschel Bernardi, Godfrey Cambridge, Jack Gilford, June Havoc, Teresa Wright.