Issa Rae to Play Nina Simone in New Lorraine Hansberry Biopic

Nina Simone (Monty Fresco/Hulton Archive/Getty Images); Issa Rae (Tumblr)
Nina Simone (Monty Fresco/Hulton Archive/Getty Images); Issa Rae (Tumblr)

An unconventional biopic of Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun, is in development, according to Shadow and Act. Hansberry's grand-niece Taye Hansberr, will take the title role, and Issa Rae, star of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, will play a pivotal role.

Issa Rae is set to play Nina Simone, who was a close friend of Lorraine until her death.

And Jaleel White will play James Baldwin, Hansberry's close friend and confidant.

Will Stewart (Casting Director for Scandal) is casting the project, with additional announcements to come. 

Production is slated to begin in early fall, with the project now heading into the pre-production stage. 

Living quite an involved life, Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics' Circle award. She's likely most-known for her seminal play about a struggling black family in Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun (a line taken from a Langston Hughes poem). 

It was the first play produced on Broadway by an African American woman. It opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on March 11, 1959, and was a great success. 


Read more at Shadow and Act

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