University of Pittsburgh
August 16, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, August 16 -- The University of Pittsburgh's renowned Kuntu Repertory Theatre will launch its 25th anniversary season with a pre-gala celebration

fund-raiser beginning at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, September 9, at City Theater on Pittsburgh's South Side.

Those attending will see a sneak preview of Kuntu's first production for the 1999-2000 season, a revival of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun." This co-production with City Theater features Kuntu's founder and artistic director Vernell Lillie in the role of Lena Younger. Following the performance, guests will be invited to discuss the play with the director and cast and enjoy music and refreshments.

"A Raisin in the Sun" is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Hansberry's drama of a black family struggling to survive on Chicago's Southside during the 1950s won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

Kuntu's production of "A Raisin in the Sun" will run from September 15 through October 10. The season also will include "Love to All Lorraine," written by and starring Elizabeth Van Dyke, and "Zora: The Dark Town Strutter," written by Laurence Holder, directed by Lillie and starring Renee Berry-Mack. Additionally, Kuntu will present the premiere of "Nefertari Rising," a new play by Rob Penny, Kuntu playwright-in-residence, directed by Woodie King, Jr. of the New York Federal Theater. (Editor's Note: a more detailed 1999-2000 schedule will be released soon.)

Tickets for the pre-gala celebration, which is supported in part by the Pittsburgh

Post-Gazette Department of Community Affairs, are $30 apiece. For more information about the pre-gala celebration or Kuntu's 1999-2000 season, call 412-648-2239.