Aug. 28, 2015


For Immediate Release

CÚline Alis
(337) 365-1540

(888) 942-3742 

Iberia Parish Convention 

and Visitors Bureau

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A Raisin in the Sun to open 
IPAL's 2015-2016 Season
NEW IBERIA, La.--- The Iberia Performing Arts League will present Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" Sept. 10-20, 2015 in New Iberia. Phanat Xanamane makes his directorial debut directing a diverse cast of newcomers to the IPAL stage. 

The show opens at IPAL's Essanee Theater, 126 Iberia St. in New Iberia, on Thursday, Sept. 10 and plays for two weekends closing on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. 

Tickets are $10 and may be obtained at Delaune's Pharmacy, Paul's Flowers, the Daily Iberian office, and online at (search IPAL). Additionally, tickets can be purchased by calling 337-364-6114 or emailing and leaving a name and return phone number. This show uses some strong language and has some adult themes.

This groundbreaking play starred Sidney Poitier in the original Broadway production, which opened in 1959 and has since been revived. Set on Chicago's South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena. 

The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. Sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.

The play continues to have a groundbreaking role as the first majority African-American cast production at IPAL. 

"This play opens now at an unusual moment in history where culture, politics and theater intersect," said Xanamane. "I submitted the play to IPAL's reading committee two years ago before the surge of national and local conversations erupted in media about what it means to be black in America. I hope the theater community attending the performance uses this play to reflect and recognize art as an effective platform to begin to listen and understand each other."

Following the opening night performance, there will be a 30-minute "Talk Back" moderated by Dr. Caryn Winters, Ph. D from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Communications Department.

Starring are Cheryl Shelton as Mama Lena, Kirk Dunbar as Walter Lee, Keisha Etienne as Ruth, Krystal Olivier as Beneatha, Cameron Lee as Travis, Joshua Wright as Asagai, Todras Sam as George and Arksone Souriya as Bobo. 

"I hoped this play would open doors for new diverse talent and audiences in Iberia Parish to cross our historical, racial and cultural divisions and get involved with community theater," Xanamane said. "Working on this production with a diverse cast and crew has been an absolute delight."

This production is supported, in part, by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council, through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

For more information contact Phanat Xanamane at or 337-378-9469.




The Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official parish marketing agency promoting New Iberia, Avery Island, Jefferson Island, Jeanerette, Loreauville and Delcambre as a destination. Marketing programs target leisure travelers, business travelers, media, entertainment industry, and the travel trade including group tour planners, meeting planners, sports planners and special event planners. The bureau operates a parish welcome center located at 2513 Hwy. 14 in New Iberia.


For more information on parish events and tourism assets, call the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau at 337-365-1540 or visit

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