Brent Lang Executive Editor When I reach Jeremy O. Harris, he’s about to be whisked upstate to celebrate his birthday. And this one is hitting a little harder than others, and not just because, like all birthdays, it’s a blaring reminder of all the mileage that’s been accumulated.
No, it’s because Harris is turning 34, the same age that Lorraine Hansberry, the brilliant, barrier-atomizing playwright behind “A Raisin in the Sun, was when she died in 1965. “I feel aligned with her spiritually,” Harris, who took the theater world by storm with his 2019 Broadway debut, “Slave Play.” “We both went to Broadway for the first time when we were 29 years old.
And right now, I’m thinking that my life has been so short, but it’s so much richer because of what she has done for the theater.” This year, Harris has played an integral role in helping to shift the cultural conversation around Hansberry’s legacy by helping to arrange a last-minute transfer of an acclaimed revival of “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window” from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it had a sold-out run this spring, to Broadway for a whirlwind 10-week engagement.
The goal is to remind people that Hansberry’s body of work extended beyond “A Raisin in the Sun.” Rarely produced, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window” is a challenging, provocative look at a Bohemian couple in Greenwich Village, whose affection for each other curdles, along with their idealism. “America needs this play,” says Harris. “It speaks to our moment.Read more on variety.com
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