HOME > Season Archives > 2013 - 2014 > The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window


The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window

Directed by Joshua Kahan Brody

@ Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

NOVEMBER 15 - 24



About the Play

About the Playwright

Lorraine Hansberry’s sprawling and complex masterpiece tells the story of Sidney and Iris Brustein, a young couple in New York City’s West Village whose troubled marriage becomes even more challenging as they clash over personal politics and ideals. Is it possible to keep one’s idealism while faced with life’s never ending compromises and disappointments?


Lorraine Hansberry (1930 Chicago-1965 NYC) is a playwright, author, activist and an influential figure in the civil rights movement. Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun, which opened on Broadway in 1959 to great success. She was the first African American playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award for her play. A Raisin in the Sun was inspired by Hansberry’s own experience. In 1938, Hansberry's family moved to a white neighborhood and was violently attacked by neighbors. They refused to move until a court ordered them to do so, and the case made it to the Supreme Court as Hansberry v. Lee, ruling restrictive covenants illegal. Hansberry’s play was the first play produced on Broadway by an African-American woman. A gifted writer, Hansberry contributed articles and letters to Freedom, Paul Robeson’s progressive black newspaper and she wrote on feminism and homophobia for the magazine The Ladder. She died of pancreatic cancer at 34.

Adapted from: Lorraine Hansberry. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Sep 30 2013, 12:47.


About the Director

Joshua Brody recently graduated from the UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance with an MFA in directing. Previously, he graduated from Yale University, where he received the Seymour L. Lustman Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Life of Arts in the College.

Immediately after graduating, he served as the directing intern on the American premiere of Brian Friel’s The Home Place directed by Joe Dowling at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. Upon returning to the East Coast, he assisted Daniel Sullivan on the Tony-nominated revival of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. Later in 2008, he assisted Connie Grappo on the Working Theater’s production of the world premiere of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s King of Shadows. He has directed two shows at the NY Fringe Festival: 2010's award-winning Art of Attack by Asa Merritt and 2011's Fourteen Flights by Ryan Campbell for which he won the award for Overall Excellence in Directing. Other NY endeavours include The Eric Day Cabaret at the Laurie Beechman Theater and various sundry readings and workshops. His UC - San Diego credits include A Man, His Wife, And His Hat by Lauren Yee, The Dybbuk by S. Ansky, The Santa Barbarians by Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, and Little Children Dream of God by Jeff Augustin. He has worked at the La Jolla Playhouse as an assistant director (The Nightingale, The Who and The What), a casting/producing associate (100% San Diego), and an actor (Our Town, for the upcoming Without Walls Festival).

Prior to embarking on a career as a director, Joshua had a brief career as an actor. Highlights include originating the role of “Boy” in the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s The Distance from Here at the Almeida Theatre, UK and the role of “Bender” in Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. Born in Summit, NJ but spending the vast majority of his formative years in London, UK, Joshua is dual US/UK citizen. He is a co-founder, along with Tom Dugdale, of The Trip.


Director's Statement

The Sign In Sidney Brustein's Window is a sprawling, messy masterpiece about how we live as idealists or cynics in a world that seems to reject both. Sidney and his wife Iris live in a utopian/Bohemian version of the West Village in New York City. Life is a neverending series of compromises and failed business endeavors for the young couple. When Sidney decides to ally himself with a "reform" political party, personal politicals and political ideals clash inside of a troubled marriage. What does it mean to be young, and beautiful... and already disillusioned? How can we keep our idealism without being crushed by it? Is it naive to believe in the possibility of a better world? These are the questions asked by Lorraine Hansberry's mostly forgotten gem.


The Cast

The Creative Team

Sidney Matthew Van Der Velde
Alton - Brian Bose
Iris - Miranda Dainard
Wally - Mohammad Shehata
Max - Stacy Mauro
Mavis - Rosie Byrne
David - Joey Odom
Gloria - Rio Villa
Director - Joshua Kahan Brody
Asst. Director - William Given
Costume Designer - Narae Kim
Lighting Designer - Jennifer Kim
Sound Designer - Ryan Brady
Production Stage Mgr. - Rachael Albert



Fri, Nov 15,7:30 pm OPENING
Sat, Nov 16,2:00 pm MATINEE
Sat, Nov 16,7:30 pm  
Thur, Nov 21,7:30 pm  
Fri, Nov 22,7:30 pm  
Sat, Nov 23,7:30 pm  
Sun, Nov 24,7:00 pm CLOSING

Located at: Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays


Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.



Advance tickets for this production are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre. 

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association,
and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

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