Named for playwright, director, and activist Lorraine Hansberry, our theatre is San Francisco’s premier African American theatre and was launched in 1981.
Our namesake, Lorraine Hansberry wrote the landmark play A Raisin in the Sun, which opened on Broadway to enormous success. With A Raisin in the Sun’s debut, Hansberry was the first Black female playwright to have a play performed on Broadway, as well as the youngest American and only fifth woman to receive the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Politically active, Hansberry worked tirelessly on U.S. civil rights issues as well as global struggles against colonialism and imperialism, particularly crusading for the role of women in activism. She died tragically young at age 34, of pancreatic cancer, but left an enormous legacy, with her essays and plays continually adapted into new works, including songs (“To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” by Nina Simone) and musicals (the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Raisin). A supporter of gay rights and member of the queer community, Hansberry was posthumously inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1999.
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- ‘In the Evening by the Moonlight’ — Lorraine Hansberry Theatre brings its namesake to life (6/20/2023) - Bay Area Reporter
- Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’s New Artistic Director Margo Hall Is Ready to Lead (3/11/2021) - Playbill
- Margo Hall Set to Lead the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Into an Exciting New Future (11/24/2020) - KQED
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