New Rep Announces Casts & Design Team for “Raisin in the Sun” & “Diaspora!”

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The cast of New Rep’s “Raisin in the Sun” includes Damon Singletary (right) as Walter Lee Younger, and Jon Vellante as Karl Lindner. (Courtesy of New Rep)

Following its highly acclaimed, sold-out, three-week run of The Normal Heart, New Repertory Theatre (New Rep) is excited to announce the now complete casts and design team for its upcoming productions of A Raisin in the Sun and Diaspora! The shows will run in repertory, with A Raisin in the Sun beginning its three-week run Sept. 5 through Oct. 1, 2023, and DIASPORA! running from Sept. 12 through Oct. 15, 2023. Both shows will run in the Black Box Theater of the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA.  

A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking drama, directed by Lois Roach, is an American classic, and a searing and timeless portrait of a family on Chicago’s South Side. A Raisin in the Sun is an answer to the poem from which the title is derived – Langston Hughes’ legendary poem, Harlem. When the Youngers see an opportunity to move to a new neighborhood, each member of the family must answer: What happens to a dream deferred?

A pivotal play in the history of the American Black theatre. – Newsweek 

Jae Woo, Valyn Lyric Turner, and Lorraine Kanyike will be featured in the cast of New Rep’s “Diaspora!” (Courtesy of New Rep)

DIASPORA! is written by Phaedra Michelle Scott and directed by Pascale Florestal. This production marks its world premiere, having originated as a SpeakEasy Stage commission as part of their Boston Project, developed and workshopped in Boston from 2017-2019. The play follows Sunny, a writer tracing her lineage to find a long-lost grandparent. Aided by her niece, her best friend, and her best friend’s new boyfriend, she searches for answers in history. Time begins to cross over, and we find ourselves in Boston during the rise of the civil rights movement and a certain young minister making waves at the Twelfth Baptist Church and Boston University.  

The cast of A Raisin in the Sun features:  

Lorraine Kanyike (she/her) Ruth Younger 
Valyn Lyric Turner (she/her) Beneatha Younger 
Jon Vellante* (he/him) Karl Lindner 
Damon Singletary* (he/him) Walter Lee Younger 
Juanita Rodrigues (she/her) Lena Younger 
Joshua Olumide* (he/him) Asagai 
Kadahj Bennett (he/him) George 
Naheem Garcia (he/him) Bobo 
Joshua McKenna (he/him)  Travis 

The cast of DIASPORA! features:  

Lorraine Kanyike (she/her) Sunny 
Serenity S’rae (she/her) Janae 
Jae Woo* (he/him) John 
Sean Patrick Gibbons* (he/him) Patrick 
Jon Vellante* (he/him) Thomas/Robert  
Valyn Lyric Turner (she/her) Dottie 

The Creative and Production Team for these productions includes:  

Elizabeth Ramirez* Production Stage Manager   
Athéna-Gwendolyn BaptisteAssistant Stage Manager  
Janie Howland Scenic Designer   
Lauren Stetson Lighting Designer   
Becca Jewett Costume Designer  
James Cannon Sound Designer   
Diego Farrell  Technical Director   

*Member of Actors Equity Association 

Full bios are available at  

A Raisin in the Sun is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.  

Tickets start at $30 for adults and $15 for students and are available at All productions will be in the Black Box Theater of the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA. These productions are already starting to sell out, so early purchase is advised. 

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