A Raisin In The Sun: #Twittermission Round-Up

by:  Thom Dunn at 03/12/2013

This past Friday night we hosted our second #Twittermission event, encouraging the audience to tweet us questions about the production to be answered by an artist involved the show. We were lucky enough to be joined by Omar Robinson, currently serving as the assistant to Raisin director Liesl Tommy as well as a living triumvirate of man, myth, and legend. Omar has a long history with the Huntington -- he's assistant directed on several other productions such as Now Or Later and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, plus he's offered his acting talents to many of our staged readings. He was also a tremendous help last year in preparing our new website for launch. So basically, Omar's awesome, end of story.

We were also joined in #Twittermission by the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, who are also producing A Raisin In The Sun  (and by further coincidence were also hosting a similar young patron's event that night). The Arden approached us after hearing about #Twittermission at a recent theatre conference with the idea of hosting the event in collaboration with one another. If the point of #Twittermission is to carry on the conversation beyond the particular performance on any given night, what better way to continue and cultivate a larger discussion than to do so in conjunction with another theatre in another city? Yes, that was a lot of "c" words, but it really helps to bring the art beyond the local spectrum and remind us that we're all part of a larger community. Though some of the questions that came in were specific to one of our productions, a lot of the questions pertained more to the play in general, and it was interesting to see how these productions responded to the same questions.

Here's are the tweets as they took place on Friday night (we'll share the Arden's answers when applicable as well):

How did you envision bringing such strong female relationships to the stage? 

 where does the title A Raisin in the Sun come from? 
A: "A poem by Langston Hughes called 'A Dream Deferred'. Too long to tweet here sadly!" - 
 the title comes from Langston Hughes' poem " Harlem" what happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up, like ?

 is  set in a particular city or is it supposed to be a random Midwest/northeast city?
A: "RAISIN is set in south side Chicago." 
 it's specifically south side of Chicago 

Q: Team George or Team Asagai?  
A: "George has the money, but I'm a dreamer, so I have to go with Team Asagai."  

Hi Omar! I love the set and am curious how the actors adapted to the turntable.  
A: "Quite easily! And without getting seasick."  

Q: "The music doesn't seem very period. What's up with that?" 
A: "Since we're telling a story that has to do with both now and then, it helps to merge the two time periods."  
 curious to hear about your musical choices! We have original comps & period music. Dinah Washington, for ex
 We'll get you a better / more "official" answer, but Liesl (director) likes to use hip-hop to connect to the modern day.

Unfortunately, there's no intermission for Ryan Landry's "M", which makes it kind of hard to do another #Twittermission event that night, but we'll let you know the date for Rapture, Blister, Burn as soon as we lock it down. Thanks again to the Arden and all of our question-askers for their participation in making this experiment a success. Hopefully, it will continue to grow, but in the meantime, let us know if you have any suggestions or requests for ways in which we can integrate social media into our performances without being intrusive to the performers.


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About me

Thom Dunn is the Web & New Media Manager at the Huntington, meaning it's his job to play around on the Internet and make things cool. He handles all of the video content and social media as well, and has the biggest computer monitor in the office. Like, ginormous.

Outside of the Huntington, Thom is a writer, musician, and homebrewer. It's all pretty cool. You can find out more about it at

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