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Press Release: State Museum of Pennsylvania, Partners, Present Program on Lorraine Hansberry, Author of A Raisin in the Sun

March 20, 2018

Filed under Events

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, in cooperation with WITF Public Media and The Film Posse, will present a special program on the new documentary film Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 6 pm.

Harrisburg native Tracy Heather Strain, producer of the new documentary, will show excerpts from the film. Scott LaMar, host of WITF’s Smart Talk radio program, will interview Strain on stage and discuss the film.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made online at witf.org/events or by calling Janee Corbin at The State Museum, 717-783-5736. Seating is limited.

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, which launched the 2018 season of the PBS series American Masters in January, explores the fascinating life of the first-ever black woman to author a play performed on Broadway, A Raisin in the Sun. Although the play is considered a groundbreaking work of art, the timely story of Hansberry’s life is far less known.

The documentary portrays Hansberry’s lifetime commitment to fighting injustice and how she found her way to the theater as a medium for activism at a crucial time for black civil rights. The film also explores the writer’s concealed identity as a lesbian and the themes of sexual orientation and societal norms in her works. The film title comes from Hansberry’s view that “one cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know or react to the miseries which afflict this world.”

Filmmaker and Peabody Award–winner Tracy Heather Strain grew up in Harrisburg and was inspired as a teenager to explore Hansberry’s story when her grandmother took her to a local performance of a play about the writer. Strain has produced several documentaries (Unnatural Causes, I’ll Make Me a World, and American Experience: Building the Alaska Highway, among others) for national public television. She and her husband, filmmaker Randall MacLowry, founded The Film Posse, a documentary production company based in Boston.

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart is a production of the Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project, LLC, in coproduction with the Independent Television Service and Black Public Media, in association with The Film Posse, Chiz Schultz Inc., and American Masters Pictures.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

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