Emily Feng

A visitor to the Beijing People's Art Theatre this past August would have been treated to an unexpected sight on its wooden stage: Chinese actors, rehearsing A Raisin in the Sun, a play that tells the story of an African American family's struggle against racism in 1950s Chicago.

Beijing actor and director Ying Da is mounting the first-ever Chinese-language production of Lorraine Hansberry's play. The thorniest issue at hand: how to convey to a mostly Chinese audience that an all-Chinese cast is portraying an African American family.