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Texas Theatre and Dance presents MARCUS; OR THE SECRET OF SWEET

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Photo credit: Lawrence Peart / The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance presents Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by head of acting and interim department chair Robert Ramirez and head of dance Charles O. Anderson February 26-March 8, 2020 at the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre.

Marcus is sixteen and “sweet.” Days before Hurricane Katrina strikes the housing projects of Louisiana, the currents of his life converge, overflowing into his close-knit community and launching the search for his sexual and personal identity on a cultural landscape infused with mysterious family creeds. The provocative, poignant and fiercely humorous coming-of-age story of a young gay man in the South, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet is the stirring conclusion of The Brother/Sister Plays by Academy Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight).

“We are excited to tackle this third play in The Brother/Sister Plays cycle,” shares co-director and interim department chair Robert Ramirez. “McCraney’s language and storytelling are thrilling and present and the perfect vehicle for our continued work as collaborators. We have begun a process that unites both theatre and dance in an exciting on-stage conversation that illuminates the play’s story and the traditions that the playwright has sourced as inspiration.”

The Brother/Sister Plays include In the Red and Brown Water (presented by Texas Theatre and Dance in 2016), Brothers Size (presented by Capital T Theatre in 2017) and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, which, when taken together, weave together myth, history and the voices of those often silenced to tell a story of loyalty, friendship, loss and finding oneself. “I began taking old stories from the canon of the Yoruba and splicing them, placing them down in a mythological Housing Project in the South, “ shares playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. “This made the stories feel both old and new…The ritual onstage is taking these very old stories, archetypes, myths and even rumors, and playing them out with new voices, new bodies, set in new and present times.” (Interview with McCarter Theater Center, 2009).

Tarell Alvin McCraney’s plays include Wig Out! (developed at Sundance Theatre Lab, produced in New York by the Vanguard Theatre and in London by the Royal Court) and the trilogy entitled The Brother/Sister Plays, including: The Brothers Size (simultaneously premiered in New York at the Public Theater and in London at the Young Vic where it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement at an Affiliated Theatre); In the Red and Brown Water (winner of the Kindeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, produced at the Alliance Theatre and the Young Vic) and Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet. His other plays include Without/Sin and Run, Mourner, Run (adapted from Randall Kenan’s short story), both of which premiered at Yale Cabaret.

Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet opens Thursday, February 27, 2020, with a preview on Wednesday, February 26 and runs through Sunday, March 8, with shows at 7:30 PM and matinee performances Saturday, February 29 and on Sundays at 2 PM. Tickets start at $15 for students, $21 for UT faculty and staff, and $26 for the general public and are available online.

For more information about Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, please visit JoinTheDrama.org.

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july 2020

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