Tonya Pinkins
11 min readNov 19, 2022

This essay was intended to be published before the opening of A Raisin in Sun

This fall I have the privilege of returning to the New York stage as an actor in Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A RAISIN IN THE SUN. This is only the fourth professional production in New York City since the Broadway debut in 1959. I last appeared on a New York stage in the fall of 2016, when I notoriously exited a production of Bertolt Brecht’s MOTHER COURAGE. Then and now I am gifted with the opportunity to portray an iconic Mother figure in the American theater.

I’m Experiencing and Intersectional Assault as a “woman” and as a actor

As actor and mother I bring a wealth of wisdom and experience to the world. I have fifty years experience as the former and over thirty five years as the latter. In the seven years since I last acted the role of “mother” on stage, a tremendous amount has changed for the lives of actors and mothers.

Beings with two X chromosomes have lost the safety of the choice to become or not to become “mothers.” And Actors have lost the right to improvisationaly engage with one another . Ironically both changes are couched as “protections.”