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The Brothers Size


Tue 14 Jun 2011, 7:00pm
Wed 15 Jun 2011, 8:00pm
Thu 16 Jun 2011, 8:00pm
Fri 17 Jun 2011, 8:00pm
Sat 18 Jun 2011, 8:00pm

Where: Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Dr, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: Elephant Publicity

A tour-de-force from the leading young voice of the African American theatre, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size is set to thrill audiences with its sheer kinetic energy – words, bodies and actions rebound.

Recently paroled Oshoosi Size finds an uneasy home with his older brother Ogun in the atmospheric bayou country of Louisiana. Ogun - straight living and hard working - feels both the charge and resentment of a life-long duty to protect his permanently innocent younger brother. With the arrival of the charming and sinister Elegba, an ex-con with his own claims to the brotherhood, a delicate stability is threatened and fraternal ties will be tested.

McCraney’s work relocates Nigerian myth to the grit of urban reality - the projects. His writing touches on a wealth of traditions while re-imagining their relevance to contemporary audiences. Armed with the voice of the street, McCraney folds together slangy vernacular with bursts of glorious heartfelt poetry, making The Brothers Size next generation theatre which is spiritually infused, highly theatrical but immediately accessible.

“…McCraney writes with a passion and urgency that can't be faked, in a style that invests ordinary lives with the grandeur of ancient gods. Watching these plays, you experience the excited wonder that comes from witnessing something rare in the theatre: a new, authentically original vision…”
- The New York Times.

McCraney was raised in the projects of Miami, with family members who battled drug addiction and a mother who died from an AIDS-related illness at the age of 40. He’s described the world of theatre as a lifeline out of the poverty that dominated his upbringing: “Theatre, as well as dance and music, allowed me the ability to put the large questions into a form that, at least, ordered them into a more beautiful chaos. That’s all we ever really want in life, right? To feel like we can for a moment order the chaos into something manageable, or at least perceptible.”

Described by the Chicago Tribute as “the greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more”, The Brothers Size was written when McCraney was just 25. It forms the second part of a trilogy called The Brother/Sister Plays and has been met with critical acclaim and clutches of awards. It has gone on to become one of the most performed plays on international stages, with acclaimed companies such as Steppenwolf, the Young Vic and New York’s Public Theater picking it up for production.

New Zealand’s own theatrical trail-blazer Silo Theatre has engaged a trio of some of New Zealand’s finest Maori and Pacific Island talent to bring alive this physical, poignant epic. Pua Magasiva (Sione’s Wedding, Well Hung), Jarod Rawiri (Matariki, The Arrival) and Te Kohe Tuhaka (Tama Tu, Shortland Street) explore the counterpoint between our own cultural heartbeat and contemporary (African) American culture. Auckland composer Tama Waipara has been commissioned to create a soundtrack which will fuse West African drumming, soul, R&B and hip-hop.

Following his critically acclaimed 2010 productions That Face and When The Rain Stops Falling, Silo Theatre Artistic Director Shane Bosher directs his first production of 2011.

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