A Storyteller Takes the Stage

February 28, 2013

By Crystal Vining '13

The Department of Theatre Arts will once again showcase its student talent this week with performances of "A Raisin in the Sun," a 1959 Broadway drama about a struggling African-American family trying to make ends meet in the racially segregated Woodlawn neighborhood of south Chicago.

And directing the acclaimed drama is a Bradley alumnus who's no stranger to the limelight. Garry Moore '80 MLS '09, longtime news anchor at WEEK-TV, is making his directorial debut at his alma mater and preparing the cast for their upcoming performances.

Moore admitted he was anxious to direct and has always held an interest in theatre. He graduated from Bradley with a degree in broadcast production and management and has found himself in front of an audience ever since.

In addition to his work on WEEK, Moore has performed as a storyteller, often reading and singing songs, fables and plays based on the experiences and cultural traditions of Africa-Americans.

Moore said his time at Bradley gave him the tools to succeed and he wanted to return the favor for the cast of "A Raisin in the Sun." His experience directing the American classic, Moore said, is one he will never forget.

"It was a pleasure to be able to work with such talented students," he noted. "The theatre department runs like a professional company and these students could not have been more prepared. It was truly a joy to work with them."

Lorraine Hansberry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play begins with three generations of one family, the Youngers, living in a small, ramshackle apartment on Chicago's South Side. After the death of the family's patriarch leaves the Youngers with a $10,000 life insurance check, each character sees the hefty sum as a means to finally achieve their dreams" a down payment on a new house, tuition money for medical school or a business venture that will lift the family out of poverty.

Cecil Blutcher, a senior political science major, plays the part of Walter Younger, the son who dreams of becoming rich after investing his father's insurance money in a liquor store. Walter's sheer determination to get his wife, Ruth, played by junior theatre major Morgan Green, and his son Travis, played by Rashiek McBride, out of poverty is his American dream but comes with consequences.

Blutcher said he embraced his role and transformed it to make it his own.

"The words will take me where I want to be," Blutcher explained. "I want the audience to experience the scene as if they were there. They should not know they are in a theatre."

Performances run from February 28 to March 10 in the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for Bradley faculty and staff as well as seniors and $7 for students. For tickets or more information call the Hartmann Centre box office at (309) 677-2650.