Event Title

The Brothers Size​: Directing in the Africana Aesthetic

Location

King Building 106

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

4-27-2019 11:50 AM

Abstract

As a part of the ‘18-’19 Kander Theater Lab Series, The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney takes an in-depth look at the effects of mass incarceration in discussion with Black queer masculinity and brotherhood in the modern American South. Oshoosi Size, a young Black man, reacclimates to life outside of prison with his older brother,Ogun—an auto mechanic—and his friend Elegba, also recently released. Together, these Black men attempt to both find and define themselves in a world that refuses to accept them for who they truly are: human. Unlike Western theater based primarily in the Stanislavski method, The Brothers Size was both originally written and performed within a Yoruban spiritual framework steeped in ritual. This particular production involves a processional dance, Africana-enriched music and dance, African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and heavy audience participation.This production was also experimental in nature and based in SoulWork, coined by Dr. Cristal Chanelle Truscott,encouraging the community aspect of theater rather than focusing on each individual actor’s objectives. Using SoulWork to question whether an audience could and would respond to the call of the performers onstage, the production creates a live conversation between the audience, the actors, and the spiritual energies that the show revolves around. The Brothers Size is a prime example of how Black queer theater can successfully be performed and received at a private white institution like Oberlin College.

Keywords:

Theater, Black Theater, Mass Incarceration, Black Queer Masculinity, Africana Aesthetics, Yoruba

Notes

KEYNOTE
Session II - Black | Theater

A featured student-faculty pair selected to present the story and results of their collaboration.

Major

Africana Studies; Theater

Advisor(s)

Caroline Jackson Smith, Theater and Africana Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Caroline Jackson Smith, Theater and Africana Studies

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Apr 27th, 11:00 AM Apr 27th, 11:50 AM

The Brothers Size​: Directing in the Africana Aesthetic

King Building 106

As a part of the ‘18-’19 Kander Theater Lab Series, The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney takes an in-depth look at the effects of mass incarceration in discussion with Black queer masculinity and brotherhood in the modern American South. Oshoosi Size, a young Black man, reacclimates to life outside of prison with his older brother,Ogun—an auto mechanic—and his friend Elegba, also recently released. Together, these Black men attempt to both find and define themselves in a world that refuses to accept them for who they truly are: human. Unlike Western theater based primarily in the Stanislavski method, The Brothers Size was both originally written and performed within a Yoruban spiritual framework steeped in ritual. This particular production involves a processional dance, Africana-enriched music and dance, African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and heavy audience participation.This production was also experimental in nature and based in SoulWork, coined by Dr. Cristal Chanelle Truscott,encouraging the community aspect of theater rather than focusing on each individual actor’s objectives. Using SoulWork to question whether an audience could and would respond to the call of the performers onstage, the production creates a live conversation between the audience, the actors, and the spiritual energies that the show revolves around. The Brothers Size is a prime example of how Black queer theater can successfully be performed and received at a private white institution like Oberlin College.