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.
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.
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 19:00 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.com
or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted corporate, block charities and fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
After its run at the Baxter Flipside, The Brothers Size
transfers to the Market Theatre from 14 June to 1 July.