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A World Premiere
The Brother/Sister Plays Part 1:
In the Red and Brown Water

By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Tina Landau


The Brother/Sister Plays
has been selected as an NEA Outstanding New American Play as part of the NEA New Play Development Program, hosted by Arena Stage.

This breakthrough trilogy of new plays by one of the most celebrated young writers in the American theater, Tarell Alvin McCraney, will be presented in two parts.  The Brother/Sister Plays are dangerous, modern-day stories of kinship, love, heartache and coming-of-age.  McCraney speaks with authenticity about a world that is gritty and lyrical, urban and mythic.  Be among the first to hear the words of one of the most startling new American theatrical voices of the 21st century, who is thrilling audiences internationally by pushing the boundaries of language, form, and sexuality in provocative and poetic ways.

Tarell Alvin McCraney is a 28-year old playwright whose exquisite and groundbreaking work has put his career on an extraordinary trajectory.  Already, productions of his plays have been mounted in Princeton, New York, London, DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Dublin, Barcelona and New Orleans.  A Princeton University Hodder Fellow, McCraney has been honored with the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Whiting Writing Award, and has recently been named the International Writer in Residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  The Brother/Sister Plays will travel from McCarter to New York for an off-Broadway run as a co-production with The Public Theater.

Audience Note: Presented in two separate programs, these plays can easily be enjoyed independently and in any order, but have a special resonance when experienced together.  These productions contain mature themes and adult language.

Part 1:

In the Red and Brown Water
How far will Oya go to make a mark in the world? Fast, beautiful Oya is a young runner with enormous promise, forced to choose between her ailing mother and her own dreams. This intoxicating story charts a young girl’s thrust into womanhood and her subsequent fall into the murky waters of life.

Co-produced with The Public Theater in New York.


The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Development of The Brother/Sister Plays sponsored by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.

"Of Love and Loss, Success and Defeat, and Bad Timing "
– Anita Gates
  The New York Times 5/8/2009
The rich ring of truth
In a Louisiana housing project, the action is absorbing.
By Howard Shapiro
Theater Critic
Philadelphia Inquirer  5/6/2009
"A track star searches for the right path in premiere at McCarter"
by Peter Filichia
The Star-Ledger 
(Click on photos to view Bios)
(From left to right)
Barnaby Carpenter; Samuel Ray Gates; Kimberly Hébert Gregory; Brian Tyree Henry; Marc Damon Johnson; Nikiya Mathis; Alano Miller; Kianné Muschett; Heather Alicia Simms;
Playwright Tarell  Alvin McCraney
Direction Tina  Landau
Set Design James  Schuette
Costume Design Karen  Perry
Lighting Design Jane  Cox
Sound Design Lindsay  Jones
(Click on name to view Bio)
Location: Berlind
Seating Chart
Dates: Apr 24 - Jun 21 2009
Run Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus 15 minute intermission
Tue - Thur - 7:30pm
Fri - 8:00pm
Sat - 3:00pm & 8:00pm
Sun - 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Audience Guide
View Trailer
Schedule Reminder
4/2 Live at the Library
5/7 Pride Night Party
5/8 After Hours Party
5/10 Audio Described Performance
5/24 Dialogue on Drama Performance
6/3 Post-Performance Discussions
6/7 Post-Performance Discussions
6/20 ASL Interpreted Performance
The Brother/Sister Plays contain adult language and mature themes.

Dear Patrons,

There is no doubt that Tarell Alvin McCraney is one of the most startling new voices to emerge in the American theater.His first major work, The Brother/Sister Plays, is an exquisite and groundbreaking cycle.  Though fictional stories, the plays are grounded in the gritty realities that Tarell faced growing up in the Miami projects of the 1980’s as a black, gay man.  Tarell has transformed his own history—a brother’s imprisonment and a mother’s drug addiction and death from AIDS—into some of the most powerful, moving and poetic plays of his, or any, generation.

Check out The Brother/Sister Page on NPR.org!
New Jersey State Council on the Arts
This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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