The Brothers Size comes to Baxter FlipsideBaxter Theatre Centre
The powerful American drama The Brothers Size comes to the Baxter for three weeks only, following its success at Syracuse Stage in Central New York.
The Brothers Size is by one of America’s hottest young award-winning literary voices, Tarrel Alvin McCraney. It will play at the Baxter Flipside for three weeks only from 18 May to 9 June at 7pm nightly.
Timothy Bond directs the cast, featuring Rodrick Covington, Sam Encarnación and Elijah Joshua Reese, with set and costume design by Jessica Ford, lighting by Mannie Manim, sound design and composition by Michael G. Keck and choreography by Patdro Harris.
This production is an American-South African collaboration between the Baxter Theatre Centre, the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, Mannie Manim Productions and Syracuse Stage, with support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the American Embassy in South Africa.
The Brothers Size has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “the greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more.” The New York Times said, “Listen closely, and you might hear that thrilling sound that is one of the main reasons we go to the theatre, that beautiful music of a new voice.”
This hot-blooded drama with music woven through the story is well placed to usher in the Cape winter as it swirls together Louisiana bayou and West African mythology in an unforgettable theatrical event that will leave audiences breathless.
The play deals with the relationship between the two Size brothers Oshoosi and Ogun, on very different paths, who live in the bayou section of Louisiana, and it uses character names that represent West African deities. Although it is possible to follow the play without knowing this, it adds resonance to the events taking place in the story while the poetic language and evocative music further heightens the emotional tension inherent in these relationships.
Essential metaphoric elements are deeply rooted in this simple contemporary tale, which combines humour and heartbreak, about what unites and divides the two brothers. Biblical and West African mythology and ritual are craftily woven into the layers and textures of the story.
Oshoosi (played by Covington), the younger sibling, is the ‘black sheep’ recently released from prison and taken into the care of his elder brother Ogun (Reese), an auto mechanic, who tries to instil the value of hard work and help to get him back on the right path. However, when ex-con Elegba (Encarnación), who ‘looked after’ Oshoosi while he was in prison, rocks up, the brotherhood is threatened.
Critics have raved about the production and the performances when it opened at Syracuse Stage recently. One reviewer called it “A Masterpiece of Modern Theater”, while another said “This early work from a playwright with a bright future is bound to become a modern American classic.” Others have described it as a “riveting and brilliant play” and “explodes with action and emotion.” Further praise came in the form of “Directed to stunning and powerful effect by Timothy Bond”, and “Each actor delivered a rock-solid performance and deftly portrayed their characters’ complexities and motivations.”
The play is the second of McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, all set in the Louisiana Projects and all exploring Yorùbán mythology.
Thirty-two-year-old McCraney is an award-winning American playwright and actor. He is a member of Teo Castellanos/D Projects Theater Company in Miami and in 2008 became RSC/Warwick International Playwright in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company. In April 2010, McCraney became the 43rd member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble.
Timothy Bond is the Producing Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage, which is the theatre-in-residence at the Syracuse University and is Central New York’s premier professional theatre. Since 1974 it has offered an adventurous mix of new plays and bold interpretations of classics and musicals.
Former Baxter CEO and award-winning lighting designer Mannie Manim is responsible for overseeing the South African tour.
The Brothers Size previews at the Baxter Flipside on Friday, 18 May, opens on Saturday, 19 May and runs for three weeks only until 9 June, at 7pm nightly.
Ticket prices range from R90 (Mondays), R110 (preview) to R130 (Tuesday to Thursday) and R150 on Fridays and Saturdays. Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted corporate, block charities and fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962 or e-mail email@example.com
After its run at the Baxter Flipside, The Brothers Size transfers to the Market Theatre from 14 June to 1 July.
For more information visit:
www.baxter.co.za www.facebook.com/BaxterTheatre; www.twitter.com/BaxterTheatre
Here are some of the reviews and responses to the run at Syracuse Stage:
CNY Café Momus
“Directed to stunning and powerful effect by Timothy Bond.”
“Riveting and brilliant play.”
“Explodes with action and emotion.”
“Lets us see into the inherent nobility of some human souls.”
“A brilliant play, and a powerful one as well.”
“A powerful and touching production.”
For further media enquiries, pic or interview requests contact Fahiem Stellenboom on 021 680 3971, cell 072 265 6023, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Alethea Patterson Cordiglia on 021 680 3974 or e-mail email@example.com
021 680 3974
072 265 6023
Baxter Theatre Centre
Web site: http://www.baxter.co.za
Baxter Theatre Centre, Cape Town Western Cape South Africa