This project is based on two plays, Trifles and A Raisin in the Sun, and how a new set of actors are going to be cast to play each of the characters in the plays. The plays vary tremendously in nature and the world they bring in for the audience and hence, their characters differ too. Trifles, written in 1916, narrates a tale of two women, how they scrutinize the life of another woman and discover harsh realities about the life she was leading, with a case of murder being the backdrop. A Raisin in the Sun is a play about a black family’s daily functionality and the dreams of the characters. Set in Chicago in 1957, it portrays the struggles black people had to endure whenever they dared to step up and out of the box. I, hereby, would cast current working actors to the characters of the aforementioned plays as we shall proceed further in this paper. The characters in Trifles are a County Attorney named George Henderson, a Sheriff named Henry Peters, a farmer named Lewis Hale, and the wives of the Sheriff and the farmer referred as Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale throughout the play. County Attorney George Henderson and Sheriff Henry Peters’ legal positions and characters are distinct but in the play they basically work as two alter egos of the same individual. They are for all intents and purposes indistinct from each other, aside from their expert qualifications, since they treat the ladies in a similar way and possess a similar overly fixated point of view, strongly persuaded of their own significance and aptitude while the ladies illuminate the mystery directly underneath their noses. Mr. Hale, however, is portrayed differently than the other two male characters of the play as by profession, he holds a lower status than the others and hence, expresses a feeling of obligation to abide by their orders without raising a voice of his own.
Attempting to cast for Country Attorney and Sheriff, I would opt for Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt respectively, for their characters in the movie Se7en. William Somerset from Se7en, played astoundingly by Morgan Freeman, is a senior detective with sharp skills who is paired with David Mills, another idealistic detective played by Brad Pitt, to solve the mystery behind the murders inspired by the seven deadly sins. Throughout the movie, they work jointly as an unbreakable team to solve the case and relating that with the pairing of Country Attorney and Sheriff from Trifles, I desire to get Freeman and Pitt on board to play these two characters from the play. The Greatest Showman is a movie about a man, played by Hugh Jackman, who dreams and works hard to turn it into a vision with his family being his constant priority. It is a tale of his journey as a showman from scratch and how from time and again, he has proved himself that deep inside he is a basic family man who adores his loved ones to death. To play Mr. Hale from the play, Hugh Jackman would be a perfect fit as their journeys and life stories may differ drastically but few inherent characteristics such as being down to earth, relate them with each other.
Mrs. Hale, the wife of Lewis Hale and the neighbor of the Wrights, is to be one of the major driving forces of the play. She is extremely outspoken, confidently commenting on the men’s disrespect towards them whereas the men failing to relate this nature of hers as a threat to their investigation. Instead of seeing Mrs. Wright as the murderer, with valid statements and a plethora of emotions, she managed to depict Mrs. Wright as the victim to the audience. She possesses utmost empathy towards Mrs. Wright and her acumen, paired with that of Mrs. Peters’, brought some light to the ongoing mystery. Mrs. Peters on the other hand, is torn apart by the opposing forces of her role as a Sheriff’s wife who is bound to follow the law and her role as a woman who empathizes Mrs. Wright’s situation. Her loyalty towards her husband’s profession does not allow her to be in favor of Mrs. Wright at first but gradually when she reminisces her own struggles and with the persuasion of Mrs. Hale, her role as a woman overcomes all the other social norms that she was held back by.
Mona Lisa from the movie My Cousin Vinny, played by Marisa Tomei, is a strong woman who never hesitates to speak her mind and always supports her loved ones. Vinny, her fiancé and the protagonist of the story, faces multiple hurdles through the course of the plotline and Lisa stood by him like a constant pillar, encouraged him mentally and also saved him from practical problems quite a lot of times. Mrs. Hale too, always speaks her mind and can turn bold and empathetic at the same time which makes Marisa Tomei a suitable choice to play her in Trifles.
The character of Mrs. Peters has contrasting thought process throughout the play. She wishes to think differently towards Mrs. Wright but her social position holds her back. However, she overcomes the shackles of society during the climax, where the actual person inside her could raise a voice. May Welland’s character from the movie The Age of Innocence, played beautifully by Winona Ryder, has quite a few similarities with the thought process of Mrs. Peters. She is a typical family person, extremely well behaved and constantly trapped under the social norms of the elite class of New York in the 1870s. She readily accepts her position, understands her limitations but when time comes, she shows that she also has an opinion that needs to be heard. Her husband’s infidelity was not unknown to her and when required, without letting anyone understand, she boldly took the step which was needful to save her family. For all the aforementioned qualities, I would want Winona Ryder to play Mrs. Peters from Trfiles, in a similar way she played her character of May Welland.
The characters in A Raisin in the Sun are Ruth Younger, Beneatha Younger, Walter Younger, Travis Younger, Lena Younger, Joseph Asagai, George Murchison, Karl Lindner and Bobo. Ruth Younger, the wife of Walter Younger, is a bold woman who relentlessly has to deal with her household problems causing her to have multiple conflicts with her husband, her mother-in-law, and the rest of her family. She works tirelessly to help make the ends meet for her closed ones while donning a strong personality, which overshadows her inner desires and helplessness. Beneath Younger, the younger sister of Walter Younger is a breath of fresh air in the play who carries a strong set of opinions and never shies away to express her desires. She is shown to be getting a proper education, ventures to try out various activities, and for a black young girl in the 1950s, her having multiple romantic relationships helps the audience to visualize her as a modern lady.
Hidden Figure is a movie which tells the story of three colored women who worked at NASA during the Space Race. To portray Ruth Younger, I would like to cast Taraji P. Henson, who played the role of Katherine Jackson in the movie as I believe like Ruth, she is also an extremely bold woman who can manage both her household and her work front irrespective of how many times the world tries to turn her down because of her skin color. Mary Jackson, enacted by Janelle Monáe, was an engineer of NASA who overcame a myriad of hurdles to reach her dream. Her character relates with that of Beneatha’s as both of them strive for education, are extremely opinionated and face discrimination for being colored women in the United States around late 1950s and early 1960s. Hence, I would choose Janelle Monáe to play Beneatha in A Raisin in the Sun.
Walter Younger is an intense young man who has been beaten down by life as a black man so many times that, it has made him impulsive, irritated and emotional. He dreams highly for himself and his family but as a victim of the institutionalized United States of the 1950s, has to work as a chauffeur for other people which constantly make him question his masculinity. Lena Younger, also known as Mama, is the head of the family whose definition of life, freedom and God constantly contradicts with that of her children. Like the other women in the play, she too possess a strong personality who tries to keep her family intact no matter how many times it was on the verge of being scattered and for that, does not fear to take unlikely decisions too.
Will Smith plays the role of Chris Gardener in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. In the story, his character is an ambitious salesman whose dreams take multiple tolls on his family’s financial situation and the setbacks even lead to his wife moving away from him, leaving their five-year-old son with Gardener. Walter Younger’s character relates with that of Chris Gardener’s as they both, along with their families, had to go through financial hardships, a price they had to pay for daring to dream and hence, I believe Will Smith would be able to play him perfectly. In For Colored Girls, Whoopi Goldberg played the role of Alice Adrose, in a movie that tells the story of nine colored women. Her character was filled with complications and bruises from her past but one thing that made me relate her character to that of Lena Younger’s is her compassionate nature towards the other girls, especially the rape victim Tangie, in the movie. Lena is the head of the Younger household and amidst her strict set of beliefs and personal struggles, she provides compassion in all her relations and hence, even though the characters differ a lot, I would want Whoopi Goldberg to take up the challenge to play Lena Younger from the play.
Joseph Asagai, a man Beneatha meets in college, is romantically interested in her despite the fact that she appears to be less worried about discovering love than she is with making sense of what her identity is. Asagai brings Africa, and especially Nigeria, to Beneatha through music, dresses and cultural information. While he appreciates Beneatha for being so genuine, he also understands her deep longing to connect with her roots. The perfect opposite of Asagai, George Murchison is a youthful black man whose family has absorbed into American culture and amassed riches. The Youngers are stunned when Beneatha finds such a rich and successful man to be an uninteresting romantic possibility. George and his family have expelled themselves from the same network of black people that Beneatha tries to delve more into.
In the movie Home Again, the character played by Stephan James is deported back to his home country from the States. He feels tremendously lost there as even though it is technically his home, he is used to living elsewhere and is having a hard time adapting to where he originally belongs. Joseph Asagai from A Raisin in the Sun is a man who even after staying in the States, tries to keep his connection with his roots intact. The trajectory of the two characters vary slightly so it would be interesting for Stephan James to be casted to play Joseph Asagai. Nick Persons, a character played by Ice Cube in the movie Are We There Yet?, is a family man with a routine lifestyle. He knows his priorities well enough hence, I would want Ice Cube to play George Murchison as they both are the conventional perfect fits for their respective societies. Travis Younger, the son of Ruth and Walter Younger, is a well behaved young boy who hardly complains even when he has to sleep in the living room where his father entertains his friends all night. He is shown to understand the financial situation of his house as when his mother refuses to give him fifty cents, instead of arguing with her, he asks for permission to earn it himself. The other two characters in the play are not a part of the Younger household and they are, Karl Lindner and Bobo. Karl Lindner is the representative of the American society of that time who constantly demeans the black community. With his extreme politeness, he asks the Youngers to not move into a white community and sugarcoats the situation to make it seem like its for their own good. Lindner recommends that it is in the family’s wellbeing to stay in a region where they will be among individuals who belong to the same community as them. Bobo, Walter’s friend and potential business associate, gives an insight towards the general helplessness of the people during that time apart from that of the Youngers. Both Walter and Bobo face betrayal from their friend who flees with all their money leaving nothing but their dreams to die behind.
The character of Travis Younger has lower demands than the other characters of the play. To play him, I would want Lonnie Chavis from the series This Is Us as like Travis, the character enacted by Chavis in the series is also a well behaved and decent young boy. We hardly know anything about the traits Bobo has in his character hence to play him, Chadwick Boseman would be a good option. Bobo is shown to be a gentleman in the very little scenes he appears in, and Boseman played roles of hardworking and chivalrous men multiple times such as in his venture with the movie Get On Up. Karl Linder is the antagonist, disguised as a peacemaker, of the play and to enact him, George Clooney, who played Thomas Devoe in the movie The Peacemaker, is my desired choice. Clooney is a Lieutenant Colonel in the movie and manipulation comes along with the profession itself hence, he would be able to ace Lindner’s role perfectly as all Lindner did was manipulate the Youngers.
These are all my chosen cast for Trifles and A Raisin in the Sun where, for both the group of actors, I would require them to delve into the stories and times of the plays. Afterward, they are highly recommended to bond with each other, know each other’s characters alongside their own ones, and be comfortable with the costumes and set by rehearsing multiple times. Through these activities, they will consider themselves a part of the narrative they are playing for and together, will deliver an enriching performance.