Mainstage

Many of the characters in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet are named after Yoruban orishas. An orisha (also spelled òrìṣà) is a spirit or deity that mediates between the natural and supernatural worlds. Here’s a glimpse into the features of certain characters’ orishas.

Marcus Reviews

“See this intoxicating play: it will make you want to leave dreary and frigid Minnesota and move to moonstruck Louisiana, a land of sun-showers, nighttime assignations on the bayou, intricate family relations, powerful friendships.” Read the full review

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; attend a post-show discussion; or consider the following discussion questions wherever you wind up after the show…

Wa Wo (“Come Watch” in Yourba), 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.

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

Young Marcus is haunted by dreams of his ancestors and dogged by doubts from his friends and family in this coming-of-age, coming-out story set in the Louisiana bayou. The final installment of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s acclaimed “Brother/Sister Plays” trilogy, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet is a Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company co-production, presented by the Guthrie Theater.

Mercy Killers reviews: “Strong” “So emotionally-charged” “Kicks down walls” “Raw, immediate”

“The best theater kicks down walls, pulls off the gloves and starts swinging. Mercy Killers…is that kind of play.” –HowWasTheShow.com
Read all the reviews

“I And This Mystery Here We Stand” is a print-based public art installation by Natasha Pestich that responds to Pillsbury House Theatre’s Spring 2014 production of Michael Milligan’s play MERCY KILLERS.

Mercy Killers

Michael Milligan brings his internationally acclaimed show to the Pillsbury House Theatre stage. Joe, a blue collar mechanic with a red state perspective, recounts the lengths he will go to care for his beloved wife. A detailed and emotional journey, Mercy Killers is an unflinching look at health care in the United States.

"A brave, disturbing but accessible piece of theater" -Pioneer Press "extremely compelling theater" -Cherry and Spoon "offers contemporary resonances and eschews easy answers" -Pioneer Press "A topical two-hander about free speech ,violence and the effects of bullying." -Star Tribune "intense, dark, and often perceptive" -City Pages "two strong actors in difficult roles" -Minnpost

“There are many things to admire about Johnna Adams’ play, “Gidion’s Knot,” now on stage at Pillsbury House Theatre. It’s a brave, disturbing but accessible piece of theater that offers contemporary resonances and eschews easy answers.” —Dominic Papatola, Pioneer Press
Read all the reviews »

You’re not looking at this in the right light is a multi-media installation by artist Allison Bolah in response to the play Gidion’s Knot. The installation considers both Pillsbury House’s community and facilities as it explores young people’s experiences of miscommunication. Through video, still photographs, ‘classroom’ installations, and web-based pieces, this project engages youth and adults who use the Pillsbury House space.

2014 MAINSTAGE SEASON

Gidion’s Knot
February 21—March 23, 2014 by Johnna Adams, directed by Noel Raymond Over the course of a 90 minute parent/teacher conference, a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed fifth grade teacher have a fraught conversation about the mother’s son, the teacher’s student, Gidion. As his tragic story is slowly uncovered, the women wrestle with issues in the undercurrent of education today—Is the system supporting our youth or forcing them to conform? Who is responsible when things go wrong?
Mercy Killers
April 23—May 4, 2014 written and performed by Michael Milligan, directed by Tom Oppenheim In the tradition of solo performance like No Child, Michael Milligan brings his internationally acclaimed show to the Pillsbury House Theatre stage. Joe, a blue collar mechanic with a red state perspective, recounts the lengths he will go to care for his beloved wife. A detailed and emotional journey, Mercy Killers is an unflinching look at health care in the United States.

The Guthrie Theater presents a Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company co-production of

Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet
September 12 - October 5, 2014 In the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Marion McClinton In the final installment of the acclaimed Brother/Sister Plays, young Marcus, son of Elegba, is haunted by dreams and dogged by doubts among his friends and neighbors in the tight-knit projects of the Louisiana Bayou. Incorporating and transcending his ancestors, Marcus must discover his true nature and embrace the secret power that being “sweet” brings.

TICKET INFORMATION

Season passes: Pick your price. (Regular price: $100. Minimum price: $65.) Season passes are available online or by calling 612-825-0459. In order to take advantage of the pick-your-price option, YOU MUST CALL 612-825-0459 to purchase a pass. Individual tickets: Pick your price. Purchase online or call 612-825-0459. Tickets for Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet start at $15 and go on sale August 1, 2014, through the Guthrie Theater Box Office, 612.377.2224. Groups: Call Alan at 612-825-0459, or email him at berksa@pillsburyhousetheatre.org.

ABOUT THE MAINSTAGE SERIES

Since 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
  • River See by Sharon Bridgforth, featuring Sonja Parks, 4/13
  • the road weeps, the well runs dry by Marcus Gardley, directed by Marion McClinton, 10/13
  • Gidion's Knot by Johnna Adams, directed by Noel Raymond, 3/14
  • Mercy Killers written and performed by Michael Milligan, 4/14
 

"The freshest, most challenging work in town." —MplsStPaul Magazine

"Best theatre for drama" —City Pages