Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents THE BROTHERS SIZE

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents

THE BROTHERS SIZE

by Tarell Alvin McCraney

February 21 – March 18, 2018

Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre

 

Milwaukee, WI. … In many ways, brothers Ogun and Oshoosi Size could not be more different – one a hardworking mechanic and the other an aimless ex-con – but it is the bond they share that will define their story. THE BROTHERS SIZE, running February 21 to March 18, 2018, is a tough, tender drama based on West African myths about two brothers who seek to be truly free. Acclaimed writer Tarell Alvin McCraney’s poetic and lyrical play, directed by Marti Gobel, will be performed at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre in the Historic Third Ward.

 

Ogun Size wants to stop worrying about his younger brother, recently released from prison. Oshoosi wants to get his older brother off his back, and to escape the Louisiana bayou he’s returned to. As tensions grow, Elegba, an old prison-mate of Oshoosi, arrives and complicates everything by offering his friend a free car. The gift is a temptation – and a trap, one that could ensnare both Oshoosi and his brother.

 

THE BROTHERS SIZE will feature a total of four onstage performers, including three actors. Travis A. Knight will return to MCT to portray elder brother Ogun Size, while Andrew Muwonge will make his debut as younger brother Oshoosi Size. Coming between the two, in the role of Elegba, is Marques Causey, last seen at MCT in PICNIC in 2009. These three will be joined by Jahmés Tony Finlayson, a percussionist, composer and storyteller whose rhythms will become integral to the tale.

 

For this production, MCT’s already-intimate Studio Theatre will become more immersive than ever, designed to help patrons feel as close to the action as possible. Madelyn Yee’s set design, evocative of Milwaukee’s own inner city as well as that of Louisiana, will stretch far beyond “the fourth wall,” spilling into the whole of the Studio Theatre. In addition, during every performance of THE BROTHERS SIZE, a select number of seats will be available on the Studio Theatre stage, allowing audience members to be closer to the action than ever before. Patrons who have already purchased tickets within the house will be able to exchange for free into either bus stop bench or bleacher seating, and seats that remain open at curtain will be sold as Pay What You Can tickets beginning 30 minutes before the show begins.

 

Even the lobby will be influenced by this design, featuring artwork by students working with our community partner TRUE Skool, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit dedicated to using hip hop culture and creative arts as tools to engage youth in social justice leadership, education, entrepreneurship and workforce development.

 

THE BROTHERS SIZE was written by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney as the second part of a trilogy titled “The Brother/Sister Plays.” By the conclusion of our run, director Marti Gobel will have presented all three in Milwaukee in various stagings. She has already directed the first play, IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER, as a co-production of Marquette University and Uprooted Theatre. During the run of THE BROTHERS SIZE, she will produce and direct a staged reading of the final play, MARCUS, OR THE SECRET OF SWEET, on Monday, March 12, in the Studio Theatre. More details will be released closer to the date of that event.

 

In addition to writing “The Brother/Sister Plays,” McCraney has written numerous works for stage and screen, and has been awarded a McArthur Genius Grant. He is the current chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, where he received his MFA. His best-known work is the film Moonlight, an adaptation of his unpublished play IN MOONLIGHT BLACK BOYS LOOK BLUE co-written with Barry Jenkins, which won numerous awards including Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards.

 

THE BROTHERS SIZE performances will take place February 21 to March 18, 2018 (Opening Night: Friday, Feb. 23), in the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. (noon-5:00 p.m. summer hours through August 5) at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com. Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com. THE BROTHERS SIZE is co-sponsored by Jamshed & Deborah Patel and The Harley-Davidson Foundation.

 

[ CAST ]

Elegba …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Marques Causey

Ogun Size ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. Travis A. Knight

Oshoosi Size ………………………………………………………………………………………… Andrew Muwonge

Percussionist …………………………………………………………………………………. Jahmés Tony Finlayson

 

[ PRODUCTION STAFF ]

Director…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Marti Gobel

Stage Manager…………………………………………………………………………………………………. Brandy Kline

Scenic Designer………………………………………………………………………………………………… Madelyn Yee

Costume Designer……………………………………………………………………………………………. Leslie Vaglica

Lighting Designer………………………………………………………………………………………………… Jason Fassl

Properties Master……………………………………………………………………………………….. Meghan Savagian

Dialect Coach……………………………………………………………………………………….. Michelle Lopez-Rios

Assistant Director…………………………………………………………………………………………. Paula Gallarino

 

[ PERFORMANCE INFORMATION ]

February 21 – March 18, 2018
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
21

7:30 p.m.PWYC

22

7:30 p.m.P

23

8:00 p.m. O

24           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

25

2:00 p.m.

28         1:00 p.m.*

7:30 p.m. V

March 1

7:30 p.m. T

2

8:00 p.m.

3             4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

4

2:00 p.m.

7
8           

7:30 p.m. T

9

8:00 p.m. C

10           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

11

2:00 p.m.

14        

           7:30 p.m.

15

7:30 p.m. T

16

8:00 p.m.

17           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

18

2:00 p.m.

P = Preview; O = Opening; T = Talkback; V = ViewPoints;

*= Talk Theatre; C = Community Building Night (half-price tickets)

 

 

[ SPECIAL EVENTS ]

 

–Pre-performance ViewPoints: Join us for an insightful pre-show conversation with Adekola Adedapo, coordinator of multicultural programs at Alverno College, who will share stories from Yoruba tradition to illuminate the characters in McCraney’s work. This free presentation is on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

 

–Pre-performance Talk Theatre: MCT producing artistic director C. Michael Wright will lead a lively, informative chat with director Marti Gobel at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, February 28 in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

 

–Post-performance Talkbacks: Post-show discussions with the artists will take place following performances on Thursday, March 1; Thursday, March 8; and Thursday, March 15.

 

Community Building Night: As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure MCT productions are accessible to as many members of the Milwaukee community as possible, we’re hosting half-price Community Building Nights during every production in the 2017-2018 season. THE BROTHERS SIZE’s Community Building Night is set for 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 9.

 

 

[ BIOGRAPHIES ]

 

MARQUES CAUSEY – Elegba

Marques Causey returns to Milwaukee Chamber Theatre after having last appeared in PICNIC. A Milwaukee native with a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marques has worked with Renaissance Theaterworks (THE BALLAD OF EMMETT TILL, LUNA GALE); In Tandem Theatre (HOLIDAY HELL: THE CURSE OF PERRY WILLIAMS); Door Shakespeare (JULIUS CAESAR, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM); Children’s Theater of Madison (TO THE PROMISED LAND) and Forward Theater Company (THE FLICK, EXIT STRATEGY), among others. Later this season, he will appear in ANTARCTICA, WI at First Stage.

 

TRAVIS A. KNIGHT – Ogun Size

Travis A. Knight is happy to be back at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. His previous MCT credits include WELL and MOON OVER THE BREWERY. Most recently, he appeared as John Proctor in THE CRUCIBLE at Steppenwolf Theatre. Other Chicago credits include AH, WILDERNESS!, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE SIGN IN SIDNEY BRUSTEIN’S WINDOW, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, and CAMINO REAL (Goodman Theatre); and CAMELOT (Drury Lane). Other regional credits include: VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Forward Theatre Company); THE GIRL IN THE FRAME, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (In Tandem Theatre); THE PERSIANS (Renaissance Theaterworks); and HOODOO LOVE, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Uprooted Theatre). He has also spent five seasons with American Players Theatre appearing in THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, RICHARD III, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, and THE TEMPEST. TV credits: Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Mind Games. Film Credits: Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party and Runner.

 

ANDREW MUWONGE – Oshoosi Size

Andrew Muwonge is honored to be making his Milwaukee Chamber Theatre debut. Other credits include: UNSILENT NIGHT and TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992 (Next Act Theatre); FREEDOM HIGH (Uprooted Theatre); A SWELL IN THE GROUND (The Gift Theatre); LETTERS HOME (Griffin Theatre); DON’T GO GENTLE (Haven Theatre); OTHELLO: THE REMIX u/s (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); CITY OF CONVERSATION u/s (Northlight Theatre); THE LAST CADILLAC (American Demigods); PEACEBOOK (Collaboraction Theatre); FREEDOM CODE (Greatworks Theatre); and UNITED FLIGHT 232 staged reading (The House Theatre of Chicago). Andrew received a BFA in Theatre-Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is represented by Stewart Talent.

 

JAHMÉS TONY FINLAYSON – Percussionist

Jahmés Tony Finlayson is an accomplished musician, performing artist, storyteller, composer and workshop facilitator. His interactive and engaging presentations include music, songs, stories and movement of Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas and beyond. Jahmés also conducts classroom sessions and workshops including those on peacemaking, creativity, creative use of found objects, instrument making, drumcraft and circlework.  He leads drumming and music workshops for people of all ages and cultures and is the Musical Director of “Children of the Sun,” a drum ensemble for deaf and hard of hearing youth at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where he is a faculty member. “Jahmbo” is also a Music and Multi-Arts Specialist with Express Yourself Milwaukee Inc., and performs regularly for  Panadanza, Music of the African Diaspora Ensemble, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Dance Circus/Youth Dance Co. He has a long standing affiliation with the world renowned Ko-Thi African Dance Company as a poet, musician and prop designer. Jahmes is First Contact and a core member of the popular Milwaukee based world music group, “One Drum.”

 

MARTI GOBEL – Director

Marti Gobel makes her directorial debut at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre with THE BROTHERS SIZE, after having previously appeared here as an actor in BROKEN AND ENTERED, WELL, and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Her prior directing credits include shows at Forward Theater, Renaissance Theaterworks, Marquette University and Uprooted Theatre, where she served as the co-founder and producing artistic director. An actor, director and teaching artist, Marti enjoys working on projects that support the arts as a tool for the betterment of society and the encouragement of diversity on and off stage.

 

#####

 

MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE

Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate and accessible theatrical works that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright and Managing Director Kirsten Finn, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

 

Sign Up for Arts Beat

Get involved with local arts news. Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and you'll always have local performing arts information at your fingertips.