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Continue the Conversation:

Pillsbury House Theatre hopes you continue the conversations that our productions inspire. After you’ve seen Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, share your thoughts with us online (email Kelsye, post on our Facebook page, or Tweet us); attend a post-show discussion (view the calendar); or consider the following discussion questions wherever you wind up after the show:

  1. How does Tarell Alvin McCraney’s language and the verbalization of the stage directions affect your experience of the play?
  2. Myth plays a very important role in shaping the characters’ identities. What is your personal myth? How much of who you are today has been shaped by your ancestors?
  3. In the play, everyone seems to know that Marcus is “sweet”, and yet, when he finally acknowledges it, people have mixed reactions. What is your response to Marcus’ sweetness? What does the play say about the need to identify others and/or be identified?
  4. The theme of love runs throughout “The Brother/Sister Plays.” What kinds of love can you identify in this production?
  5. What role does community play in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet? What do you think McCraney is saying by giving the community this role?
  6. At the end of the play, we know a major, Katrina-like storm is approaching. What is the importance of water and weather in this play?
  7. If you have seen either/both of the other two “Brothers/Sister Plays,” (In the Red and Brown Water and The Brothers Size), what connections can you make between them and this play? Why do you think McCraney decided to end the cycle with Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet?
  8. Why do you think McCraney calls this series of plays “The Brother/Sister Plays”?

Wá Wö (“Come Watch” in Yoruba), is a series of projects and events organized by artist Sam Ero-Phillips in response to Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company’s co-production of Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, playing September 12 – October 5 in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater.

Wa Wo consists of four parts:

  1. Way-Finding Zine

    A publication inspired by the play that will guide Pillsbury House Theatre neighbors to the Guthrie Theatre for this production.

  2. Washburn Residency

    A residency with students in the Black Box Theatre program at Wahsburh High School to create an original performance.

  3. Pop-up Performance: Friday, Sept. 26 (Time TBA)

    at Cafe Southside (3405 Chicago Ave S)
    The Washburn students will present their original performance and lead a discussion on topics addressed in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet.

  4. Bike to the Guthrie: Friday, Sept. 19 at 6:45 pm and Sunday, Sept. 28 at 6:15 pm

    Meet at Pillsbury House Theatre (3501 Chicago Ave S) with your bike and appropriate safety gear (don’t forget your lights–it will be dark when we return) for a group bike ride to the Guthrie Theatre to see Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet.  Buy your tickets in advance ( or 612-377-2224). We will be staying for the post-show discussion on Sunday, Sept. 28th. RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.

Artist Biography

Audience (R)Evolutions artist Sam Ero-Phillips

Audience (R)Evolutions artist Sam Ero-Phillips

From a young age, Sam developed an interest in exploring society through visual arts. He was born in North Minneapolis and spent his early childhood years in Nigeria with his family. His passion for visual arts as a child matured into a desire to analyze society by studying architecture and studio arts as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. For his Master’s thesis project in the architecture department at the University of Illinois, Sam developed a mixed use primary school and community center in Igbogun village in Ogun state, Nigeria, to promote job creation using sustainable design. Sam was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to pursue his research in 2010 and started a doctorate in Sustainable Development at the University of Lagos in 2011 to help him establish a micro-business at the educational facility and allow his project to serve as a case study for other villages within the region. Sam has used comics as a tool to document his creative process and published his first full length graphic novel in 2007. He has also worked as a freelance architect since 2009, as the Environmental Design Instructor at Juxtaposition Arts since 2012 and as a Creative City Making Artist with Intermedia Arts in 2013.

Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. By Tarell Alvin McCraney; directed by Marion McClinton

Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. By Tarell Alvin McCraney; directed by Marion McClinton

For the final installment of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s acclaimed “Brother/Sister Plays” trilogy, 16-year-old Marcus is haunted by dreams and dogged by doubts from his friends and family. Days before an ominous storm on the Louisiana bayou, Marcus journeys to discover who he is and where he comes from by unraveling the secrets of his deceased father Elegba. As Marcus pieces together his own ancestral legacy with help from his tightly-knit, inter-generational community, he realizes the special power that being “sweet” brings.

directed by Marion McClinton
featuring Jamila Anderson, Nathan Barlow, Aimee K. Bryant,  Lauren Davis, Joy Dolo, Darius Dotch, Thomasina PetrisMikell Sapp, James A. Williams, and Ahanti Young

September 12 – October 5, 2014

Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 7:00 pm
Select weekend matinees at 1:00 pm
For specific dates and times, view the calendar.

Additional Important Dates:

  • Post-Show Discussions with our Community Partner, Out4Good:
    Thursday, September 18 at 7:30pm
    Sunday, September 28 at 7:00 pm
    Thursday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m.
  • ASL Interpreted Performance: Friday, September 26 at 7:30 pm
  • Audio-Described Performance: Friday, September 26 at 7:30 pm
  • Bike to the Guthrie: Join us for a group bike ride from Pillsbury House to the Guthrie Theater
    Friday, September 19th (meet at Pillsbury House at 6:45 pm)
    Sunday, September 28th (meet at Pillsbury House at 6:15 pm)
    More information here »

in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater

818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN
Directions, parking, and public transit


Tickets on sale through the Guthrie Box Office: 612.377.2224 or

Wed & Sun evenings; weekday matinees $22
Thu and Fri evenings $26
Sat evenings; Sat and Sun matinees $30
Previews + Rush Tickets (as available) $15

Students and Seniors: Save $3/ticket
Groups: Contact Kelsye at 612-787-3622 or

Run time: 80 minutes, no intermission

Content Advisory:
This play contains sexual content and strong language. Recommended for ages 16 and up.
Strobe lights and gun-shot sounds are used during this performance.

Related Content:

Wá Wö (Come Watch) – An Audience (R)Evolutions project by Sam Ero-Phillips

Continue the Conversation – Post-Show Discussion Questions for Marcus; or the Secret of  Sweet

MARCUS; OR THE SECRET OF SWEET from Pillsbury House Theatre on Vimeo.

Poetry Picnic, June 27, 6pm

Poetry Picnic, June 27, 6pm

Art Block leader Molly Van Avery is coordinating The Second Annual Poetry Picnic as part of her Art Block activities. A celebration of language, food and summer light, the event includes a free picnic dinner prepared by Youth Farm, music by Yonel jameson and Aida Shahghaemi, and poetry delivered to your blanket by powerful poets.

Paricipating poets include Nimo H. Farah, Chantz Erolin, Venessa Fuentes, Andrea Jenkins, Tish Jones, J. Otis Powell, Emmanuel Ortiz, Mire Regulus, Sun Yun Shin, Moheb Soliman and Molly Van Avery.

Friday, June 27th
6pm to Sunset

at Powderhorn Park Picnic Area
(35th Street between 12th and 13th Avenues)

FREE! All are welcome, rain or shine. Please bring your own blanket.


Pillsbury House Theatre’s Breaking Ice company teams up with the YWCA of Minneapolis for a special performance exploring the many ways racism and humor run hand-in-hand throughout the media and our culture. Is it OK to laugh at a racist joke? Why do so many TV shows rely on stereotypes and biases for character development and humor? Is there a healthy way to explore questions of racial justice through humor? Where is the line?  And how do you know when it has been crossed?

We invite you to join us to explore the intersection of race and humor and learn techniques for speaking up when you feel a line has been crossed.

Thursday, June 19
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

YWCA Downtown Minneapolis
1130 Nicollet Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403

$10. RSVP by June 11

Scholarships available; email to inquire.