The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) has selected Jerold C. Frakes as co-winner of this year’s Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies for his book “Early Yiddish Epic” (2014) published by the Syracuse University Press. The…
Bond to moderate discussion with playwright of ‘The Brothers Size’ Saturday at Syracuse Stage
Timothy Bond, producing artistic director of Syracuse Stage and Syracuse University’s Department of Drama, will moderate a discussion with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney on Saturday, April 21, at 5 p.m. in the Storch Theatre at Syracuse Stage. Sponsored by SU Drama in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the Wendy H. Cohen Fund for Cultural and Artistic Enrichment, this event is free and open to the public.
McCraney’s play “The Brothers Size” starts performances this week at Syracuse Stage, running April 18-May 12. Following the Syracuse run, the production will transfer to leading theaters in South Africa: the Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town (May 18-June 9), and The Market Theatre in Johannesburg (June 15-July 1). The transfer, made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, marks the debut of McCraney’s work on the continent of Africa.
McCraney is best known for his acclaimed trilogy “The Brother/Sister Plays: The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet.” They have been performed across the United States and abroad in London (Olivier Award nomination). Other plays include “The Breach,” “Wig Out!” (GLAAD Award for Outstanding Play), and “American Trade” (Royal Shakespeare Company). Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where McCraney is an ensemble member, will produce the world premiere of his commissioned play “Head of Passes” in the spring of 2013.
McCraney was the Royal Shakespeare Company’s International Playwright in Residence in 2008-2010, where he co-edited and directed the Young People’s Shakespeare production of “Hamlet,” which toured throughout the UK and was presented at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. He is the recipient of the prestigious Whiting Award and Steinberg Playwright Award, as well as London’s Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, and the inaugural Paula Vogel Playwriting Award.
He is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts High School, the Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago and the Yale School of Drama, where he mentored with August Wilson.
“The Brothers Size” is an intense and intimate play, a timeless tale of filial love and responsibility put to the test, with a theatrical overlay of Yoruba mythology and West African deities (the Orishas) rendered through flights of poetry, music and dance.
Set in a poor, working class Louisiana community, “The Brothers Size” examines one’s responsibility to family. The elder brother Size, Ogun, is an auto mechanic; Oshoosi, the younger, is a recently released convict living with his brother. Ogun wants Oshoosi to get a job and lead a life of responsibility but Oshoosi longs for a freer lifestyle. Into this struggle comes the charismatic Elegba, who was in prison with Oshoosi. Elegba has designs of his own for Oshoosi, designs that could prove catastrophic for the younger Size. To what lengths will one brother go to save the other from a life of incarceration? Fresh, bold and highly theatrical, “The Brothers Size” tells a poetic and unpredictable story of rich mythic quality.