“If you let it take you where it wants to, if you follow its gestures and open up, the result is a production that is mystical and knowing.” -Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
Read all the reviews »
“Rivers hold a special place in the traditions of African Americans—the site for baptismal rituals and concealed lynchings, the entry to the promise of freedom, the soothing azure green of Romare Bearden, the sultry undulation of Osun’s waters, the ancient dusky souls from Langston Hughes, and Tracy Chapman’s readiness to be washed over. It is hard to imagine an image more complex or potent in the African American psyche.” —Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones
Read Dr. Jones’ Linear Notes on River See»
Set on a juking boat, with blueswomen, queers, deviants, and seers, River See brings people together to witness and create. Coming to our Mainstage April 13 – 21. More info & tickets »
A combustible mixture of race, class, and sex simmers just below the surface in this piercing dark comedy that returns in 2013.
Hip Hop is the lens through which I view life. Born and raised in The Bronx, I’ve always been exposed to it. However, as I grew, I became more and more aware of its social/political power. Read more »
February 8-March 3, 2013, the Guthrie Theatre presents the Pillsbury House Theatre production of BUZZER by Tracey Scott Wilson, directed by Marion McClinton.In 2012, this world premiere production at Pillsbury House + Theatre sold 96 percent of the available tickets and sparked dialogue throughout our neighborhood about the combustible issues of race, sex, and class.
Pillsbury House Theatre is proud to bring this remounted and revised production to a wider audience at the Guthrie Theater. Namir Smallwood, Sara Richardson, and Hugh Kennedy reprise the roles they originated.
The season continues with a theatre experience like no other from national performance maker Sharon Bridgforth and starring Sonja Parks (2009 Ivey Award Winner, Pillsbury House Theatre Company Member), RIVER SEE April 13-21, 2013.
An interdisciplinary performance set on a juking boat, with blueswomen, queers, deviants and Seers, River See is the prayer before the Great Migration. The performance uses Black traditions as the base for bringing people from different backgrounds together. Through a collective process, we become responsible to one another in the art of creating a piece about Love. Stay tuned for more information about this multi-media and developing production. Winner of a 2012 MAPP Fund Grant.
THE ROAD WEEPS, THE WELL RUNS DRY by Marcus Gardley concludes PHT’s Mainstage season from September 27-October 27. The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry is an magic-infused, epic journey to the crossroads of history based on the story of the post-civil war, all-black town of Wewoka, OK. The faith and identity of the Freemen (Black Native Americans) are tested when the water well runs dry. Marcus Gardley is the 2011 recipient of PEN/Laura Pels award for mid-career playwright and a member of New Dramatists and the Playwrights Center.
Pillsbury House Theatre is proud to produce The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry as part of a consortium of theatres around the country from Alaska to Florida and Los Angeles, working together to bring this exciting and important story to every corner of the country.
Pillsbury continues to offer free child care for select performances, a service provided by only one other theater in the entire country.
Stay tuned for more information about our Late Nite Series, a cabaret of the best underground artists in New York and Minnesota, Naked Stages, and the Chicago Avenue Project as well as more Pick Your Own Price performances than any other theatre in Minnesota.
To purchase a season pass, visit the box office or call 612-825-0459. Individual tickets are not on sale yet.
by Quinton Skinner I Director of Communications, Guthrie Theater
Return to The Brothers Size play page on the Guthrie website / Return to Guthrie’s Essays page
Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size, a Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company co-production in the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio, is a bold, stark play about a pair of brothers–one just out of prison, the other the owner of a car repair shop–that touches on race and sexuality with an otherworldly and at times mythic tone. McCraney, one of the most exciting young playwrights in America today, described it in an email exchange.
“The play describes the world as the distant Present,” writes McCraney, when asked about the world his characters inhabit. “All stories are told, and always live slightly in the past. Thus they begin once upon a time.”
When the brothers Ogun and Oshoosi Size are joined by Elegba, whom Oshoosi knew in prison, the equilibrium of their world begins to teeter.
“The play has a sense of something being recreated. But the characters have nothing but possibility in front of them,” McCraney adds. “Where will Oshoosi go? Will he ever have freedom? Where is Elegba? Where does he come from and what is he up to? Ogun is building and working hard for what?”
McCraney’s work on The Brothers Size was influenced by Yoruba mythology, a way of viewing life and the universe that differs in vital ways from Western thought.
“It is a cosmology of West African origins that found its way into the American idiom first via the slave trade …” McCraney writes. “This cosmology does not draw direct lines of ‘good and evil.’ The world is round and nothing is black and white. All gods can do you charity or set you at a disadvantage.”
And here is the power of The Brothers Size: the feel of the vast realm of mythology in a story about individuals whose lives might go largely unnoticed, and that audiences can discover that an ostensibly small tale can carry the weight of centuries of passion and struggle.
“Audiences will feel many ways. My job is to invite them into the world as best I can,” concludes McCraney. Through rhythm language music dance. The play is always asking for the audience to invest. Thus the actors via stage directions are always asking the audience: ‘Do you see this? Can you watch this? Here’s something interesting, I will underline it for you.’”
McCraney’s story, once told, will indeed inspire audiences to invest their attention and emotion–just don’t expect easy answers. “Trying to describe things,” McCraney adds, “may get you into trouble.”
Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company will be back in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater September 7 – 29 with the second play in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s epic Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, THE BROTHERS SIZE.
When Oshoosi Size (Namir Smallwood) comes home from prison, he hopes to resume his happily aimless life, but his older brother Ogun (James Williams), a hard-working mechanic, cannot let Oshoosi forget his mistakes. The Brothers Size is a rich and beautiful exploration of the bonds of love between brothers and friends, using vivid language and epic vision to bring to life on stage the complexities of a generation of African-American men. In a broader context, McCraney dramatizes the ties that bind all of us together and the urges of the human heart that can rip everything apart. Does the love of family hold you back or can it help you escape fate?
612-377-2224 or www.guthrietheater.org
$20: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday evenings
$26: Thursday evenings; Saturday and Sunday matinees
$30: Friday and Saturday evenings
$18: Preview (Sept. 7)
*Students and Seniors save $5 off a full price ticket every day
Pick-Your-Price on Wednesdays (Choose from $5, $10 or $20 tickets.)
Tickets will go fast! Call the Guthrie today to make your reservations: 612-377-2224.
Public Rush Tickets: $15
Post-Show Discussions with our community partner, Twin Cities RISE!, will follow these performances:
Wednesday, September 12, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 19, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 23, 1:00 p.m.
ASL Interpreted Performance: Wednesday, September 26, 7:30 p.m.
Audio-Described Performance: Wednesday, September 26, 7:30 p.m.
“Pumped full of a senses-heightening oxygen that leaves you tingling.” – New York Times
“Raw, fearless, whimsical” – Chicago Tribune
“A don’t-miss event” – San Francisco Chronicle
2013 MAINSTAGE SEASON
|The Guthrie Theater presents a Pillsbury House Theatre production ofBUZZERby Tracey Scott Wilsondirected by Marion McClinton February 8-March 3, 2013They say you can never go home again, but African-American attorney Jackson is determined to show off his success. When he returns to the mean streets of his youth with his white girlfriend and best friend, he discovers a changing neighborhood where race, sex, and class is simmering just below the surface. This piercing dark comedy returns for an encore production in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater.|
|RIVER SEEby Sharon Bridgforthstarring Sonja Parks April 13-21, 2013Set on a juking boat, with blueswomen, queers, deviants and Seers, River See is the prayer before the Great Migration. The performance uses Black traditions as the base for bringing people from different backgrounds together. Through a collective process, we become responsible to one another in the art of creating a piece about Love.|
|THE ROAD WEEPS, THE WELL RUNS DRYby Marcus Gardleydirected Marion McClinton September 27-October 27, 2013Magical, epic, urgent, and poetic, The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry explores issues of spirituality and identity, education and migration, through the story of Wewoka, Oklahoma, the first all-black town in America. Black Seminoles, people of both African- and Native-American heritage, watch all they have built collapse into civil war when the well water runs dry. This exciting play will be seen all over the United States in 2013.|
TICKET INFORMATIONTo purchase a season pass, visit the box office or call 612-825-0459. For individual tickets, visit the box office or call 612-825-0459. Groups: Call Alan at 612-825-0459, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE MAINSTAGE SERIESSince 1992, we've brought contemporary work to life in productions that combine nerve and verve. From our intimate 96-seat theatre in south Minneapolis, we've produced over 40 productions, including more than a dozen area premieres. Among the celebrated playwrights whose works have been presented are Athol Fugard, Ed Bullins, Tony Kushner, Lisa Jones, Lorraine Hansbury, Tennessee Williams, Leroi Jones and Lanford Wilson.
- Yacub: Mad Scientist or Genius? by Homer Jackson director Ralph Remington 2/92
- Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act by Athol Fugard director Ralph R. 7/92
- Gerry Girouard Dancers in The Shadows of the Diamond Realm 7/92
- Danny and the Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley director Ralph Remington 1/93
- Slow Dance on the Killing Ground by William Hanley director Ralph Remington 3/93
- Power Tools by Xavier Leonard director Ralph Remington 6/93
- The Taking of Miss Janie by Ed Bullins director Ralph Remington 9/93
- Azande in Les Mannequins by Azande director Azande 9/93
- The Colors of Desire by Alexs Pate and David Mura director Ralph Remington 2/94
- Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley director Ralph Remington 3/94
- Thoughts from a Cultural Revolutionary by Ralph Remington director Ralph Remington 4/94
- Combination Skin by Lisa Jones director Dawn Renee Jones 7/94
- MultiCultiBoho Sideshow by Alexs Pate director Ralph Remington 11/94
- This City of Dreams by Walter Allen Bennett,Jr. director Ralph Remington 3/95 9/95
- The Hittite Empire in Undersiege Stories by the Hittite Empire 6/95
- The Punic Wars by Sirius B 7/95
- Extremities by William Mastrosimone director Ralph Remington 3/96
- Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet director Dwight Callaway 8/96
- Bring the Children Home by Marci Rendon directors Noel Raymond & Heidi Hunter Batz 9/96
- Streamers by David Rabe director Noel Raymond 2/97
- Women of Manhattan by John Patrick Shanley director Ralph Remington 7/97
- The Brunette Breck Girl by Heidi Arnesan director Heidi Arnesan 7/97
- Burn This by Lanford Wilson director Ralph Remington 10/97
- The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window by Lorraine Hansberry directors D. Callaway & Ralph R. 2/98
- Where I’m At conceived, developed and directed by Heidi Hunter Batz 3/98
- Dutchman by LeRoi Jones director Brian Goranson 6/98
- A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams director Leah C. Gardiner 2/99
- Shelter (staged reading) by Dwight Hobbes director Ralph Remington 6/99
- Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner director Noel Raymond 2/00
- The House That Crack Built by Djola Branner director Heidi Hunter Batz 10/00
- Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika by Tony Kushner director Noel Raymond 3/01
- The Gimmick by Dael Orlandersmith director Sharon Walton 7/01
- Mr. Bundy by Jane Martin director Faye Price and Sari Ketter 3/02
- The Bi Show (in collaboration with Mama Mosaic) director Noel Raymond 5/02
- Boesman and Lena by Athol Fugard director Noel Raymond 10/02
- [sic] by Melissa James Gibson director Noel Raymond 2/03
- Evidence of Silence Broken (in collaboration with Tru Ruts Endeavors) director Daniel Alexander Jones 4/03
- Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis director Stephen DiMenna 10/03
- Far Away by Caryl Churchill director Noel Raymond 3/04
- Talking Masks (in collaboration with Carlyle Brown and Company) director Carlyle Brown 5/04
- Bel Canto by Daniel Alexander Jones director Stephen DiMenna 10/04
- The Story by Tracey Scott Wilson director Sharon Walton 3/05
- Hot Comb by Kimberly Joy Morgan director Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates 5/05
- An Almost Holy Picture by Heather McDonald director Noel Raymond 9/05
- Hot Comb ’06 director Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates 1/06
- Phoenix Fabrik director Daniel Alexander Jones 6/06
- Bugby Tracey Letts director Stephen DiMenna 10/06
- Underneath the Lintelby Glen Berger director Noel Raymond 2/07
- Lowby Rha Goddess director Chay Yew 6/07
- Home by Samm-Art Williams director Marion McClinton 10/07
- Same Differenceby Samuel G. Roberson, Jr. director Anton Jones 2/08
- Other by the Breaking Ice Company director Heidi Hunter Batz 3/08
- Bulrusher by Eisa Davis director Marion McClinton 5/08
- Blackbird by David Harrower director Stephen DiMenna 10/08
- No Child by Nilaja Sun director Noel Raymond 2/09
- Playlist by Aditi Brennan Kapil and the Breaking Ice Company director Heidi Hunter Batz 5/09
- King of Shadows by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa director Randy Reyes 10/09
- No Child ’10 by NIlaja Sun director Noel Raymond 2/10
- Pa’s Hat by Cori Thomas director Marion McClinton 5/10
- Vigil by Morris Panych director Stephen DiMenna 9/10
- Broke-ology by Nathan Louis Jackson director James A. Williams 3/11
- In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney director Marion McClinton 5/11
- The Pride by Alexi Kaye Campbell, director Noel Raymond, 10/11
- Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson, director Marion McClinton, 2/12
- Jomama Jones: Radiate Live! created by Daniel Alexander Jones in collaboration with Bobby Halvorson, 6/12
- The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed Marion McClinton, 9/12
- Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson, director Marion McClinton, 2/13