A Raisin in the Sun
When it debuted in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. With a pretty much all African-American cast, the classic explores dreams and conflicts of three generations of a family struggling to retain dignity on Chicago's south side. It opens at 8 p.m. Friday ($35), with shows 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Through Oct. 20. $26; $22 students/seniors. Preview performance tonight is sold out. (813)727-2708.
Another play set against a backdrop of race is White People, performed by Tampa Repertory Theatre's incubator company TRT2. The work, which premiered in 2000, has been described as "unsettling" and "not easy to sit through," as author J.T. Rogers asks provocative questions like: "What is it to be white in America today?" The New York Times says it "succeeds best in displaying how people can unwittingly exhibit bigotry even when they mean well." Performances are 8 tonight, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E Sixth Ave., Ybor City. Admission is $15 at the door or online at tamparep.org/wp. Through Oct. 20.
Shakespeare's Land of the Dead
This Hat Trick Theatre production is based on true events of the 1599 plague outbreak in London. But before you doze off, there's a twist. Just as Henry V is coming to an end at the Globe Theatre, someone is bitten by a plague-ridden madman. Bam! The Globe is locked down and everyone must fight for their lives. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday, through Oct. 20, at Shimberg Playhouse at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets start at $23. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.