Dramatists Guild Legacy Member

Lorraine Hansberry

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Lorraine Hansberry’s (1930-1965) best-known play, A Raisin in the Sun, debuted at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1959, making her the first Black female playwright to have a play performed on Broadway. At the age of 29, she won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award—making her the first Black dramatist, the fifth woman, and the youngest playwright to do so. That same year, she also became the first Black woman to be elected to the Council of the Dramatists Guild. Her second production, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, about a Jewish intellectual, ran on Broadway for 101 performances. It closed on January 10, 1965, two days before Hansberry died of pancreatic cancer at 34.