Photo Flash: McCarter Theatre Center Announces Casting For THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS, 4/24 - 6/21
The Tony Award® -winning McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ, has announced the complete cast for the world premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's landmark trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays.
Presented in two parts, the production will be presented with a single cast and performed in repertory in McCarter's Berlind Theatre. The Brother/Sister Plays is co-produced with New York's Public Theater.
Part 1, In the Red and Brown Water, is directed by Tina Landau. It begins performances Friday, April 24 and runs until June 21. Part 2, a double-bill of The Brothers Size and Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, is directed by Robert O'Hara. It begins performances on Thursday, May 14 and runs until June 21.
The cast of The Brother/Sister Plays features Barnaby Carpenter, Samuel Ray Gates, Kimbery Hébert Gregory, Brian Tyree Henry, Marc Damon Johnson, Nikiya Mathis, Alano Miller, Kianné Muschett, and Heather Alicia Simms. The design team for the production includes James Schuette (sets), Karen Perry (costumes), Jane Cox (lighting), and Lindsay Jones (sound design).
A new trilogy by one of the most celebrated young writers in the American theater, The Brother/Sister Plays are dangerous, modern-day stories of kinship, love, heartache and coming-of-age. Tarell Alvin McCraney speaks with authenticity about a world that is gritty and lyrical, urban and mythic. McCarter audiences will 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 by pushing the boundaries of language, form, and sexuality in provocative and poetic ways.
To help mark this extraordinary theatrical event, McCarter has created a special website for The Brother/Sister Plays, containing background information on the plays and characters, biographies of the cast and creative team, a calendar of events, interviews, videos, and more. Visit www.mccarter.org/tarell for details
A May 2007 graduate of Yale School of Drama, 28-year-old Tarell Alvin McCraney is a playwright whose exquisite and groundbreaking work has put his career on an extraordinary trajectory. Already, productions of his plays have been mounted in New York, London, DC, Atlanta, Seattle,
Dublin, Barcelona, and New Orleans, as well as at McCarter's IN-Festival of New Works. In addition to The Brother/Sister Plays, his other plays include the Hurricane Katrina-themed The Breach and Wig Out!, which recently completed a highly successful run at New York's Vineyard Theatre and earned a GLAAD Award nomination. A Princeton University Hodder Fellow, McCraney has been honored with the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Whiting Writing Award, and London's prestigious Evening Standard Award, and he was recently named the International Writer in Residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Tina Landau's collaborations with Tarell McCraney include his plays Wig Out! (Vineyard) and In the Red and Brown Water (Alliance), as well as the devised piece Theatrical Essays (Steppenwolf), in which Tarell appeared as a performer. Her recent work includes The Tempest at Steppenwolf, where she is an ensemble member and has directed Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts, The Time of Your Life, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Cherry Orchard, and Charles Mee's Berlin Circle and Time to Burn, among others. Her work has previously appeared on the McCarter stage with A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Robert O'Hara directed McCarter's 2007 IN-Festival workshop production of The Brothers Size, and he received an Obie Award for his direction of Danai Gurira's In the Continuum. He also wrote and directed Insurrection: Holding History and has directed both regionally and internationally at venues ranging from New York Shakespeare Festival, Primary Stages, Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth, Magic Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Market Theatre
in Johannesburg, The Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, The Culture Project, The Flea, Philadelphia Theatre Company, City Theatre, and The Goodman Theatre.
Barnaby Carpenter previously appeared at McCarter as Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol in 2007. His off-Broadway credits include The Cataract (Women's Project); Humble Boy (Manhattan Theatre Club); and Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme and Far East at Lincoln Center. His prolific regional work includes Rock 'n' Roll (Wilma Theater), Proof (Arena Stage), Top Ten People of the Millennium (Victory Gardens Theater), A Baltimore Waltz (Henlopen Theater), and
The Importance of Being Earnest (La Jolla), for which he won a Drama-Logue Critics Award.
Samuel Ray Gates has been seen off-Broadway in Aunt Dan and Lemon (New Group); Three Seconds in the Key (New Georges); Electra (Classical Theatre of Harlem); Nelson (Partial Comfort); and A Wives Tale (Summer Play Festival), as well as in regional productions including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coriolanus, The Winter's Tale, and Romeo and Juliet. Onscreen, he can be seen in the upcoming film Men Who Stare At Goats with George Clooney and Kevin Spacey and on the new NBC series Kings.
Kimbery Hébert Gregory has participated in numerous workshops and readings of The Brother/Sister Plays and makes her McCarter debut with this production. In addition to performing the role of Shenzi in the national tour of Disney's The Lion King, Ms. Hébert Gregory has appeared on some of the country's greatest regional stages, including The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Brian Tyree Henry appeared in the world premiere of The Brothers Size at The Public Theater and Washington, D.C.'s Studio Theatre, and he recently toured with The Brothers Size at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. He also recently completed the world premiere of Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas (Long Wharf) and appeared as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet (The Public/NYSF). He also created the role of Marcus G. in the world premiere of Marcus Gardley's Dance of the Holy Ghost.
Marc Damon Johnson appeared as Ogun Size in McCarter's 2007 IN-Festival production of The Brothers Size, a role which he continued at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. His other theater credits include: the world premiere of Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas, directed by Tina Landau; the world premiere of The Poor Itch at The Public; and Mr. Fox: A Rumination at Signature Theatre, for which he earned a Drama League nomination. His numerous screen credits include
multiple episodes of The Sopranos and Law & Order, as well as the films It Runs in the Family and Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown.
Nikiya Mathis returns to McCarter after originating the role of Maima in Danai Gurira's Eclipsed at the 2009 In-Festival. A 2008 MFA graduate from New York University's Graduate Acting Program, her favorite credits include The Glass Menagerie, The Continuum Company's Romeo & Juliet, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Sparkle: the Musical, and The Bluest Eye.
Alano Miller makes his McCarter debut in The Brother/Sister Plays. He has been seen as Cory in Fences, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, and Leland in Blues for an Alabama Sky, among many others. He received his BFA from SUNY Purchase Acting Conservatory and his MFA from Penn State
University and is the recipient of a Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award.
Kianné Muschett has performed the role of Oya in Tarell McCraney's In the Red and Brown Water at Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE in addition to numerous readings and workshops of The Brother/Sister Plays. An MFA graduate from Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts, her favorite stage roles include Inez in Our Lady of 121st Street, the title role in Ella, and T-Anne/Andwyneth in Anton in Show Business.
Heather Alicia Simms has been seen on Broadway in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, A Raisin in the Sun, and Gem of the Ocean. Her off-Broadway work includes The Exonerated, Robert O'Hara's Insurrection: Holding History, and Breath, Boom. She has appeared in the films Broken Flowers, with Bill Murray; The Nanny Diaries, with Scarlett Johansson; Head of State, with Chris Rock, Life Support, with Queen Latifah, and Stream, with Whoopi Goldberg. Also an accomplished voice-over artist, she received a 2006 Audie Award for the audiobook Upstate.
Tickets for The Brother/Sister Plays at McCarter Theatre Center (91 University Place, Princeton, NJ) range from $15 to $49. To order tickets by phone, call the McCarter Box Office at (609) 258-ARTS (2787) or order online at www.mccarter.org.
Under the leadership of artistic director Emily Mann and recently appointed managing director Timothy J. Shields, McCarter Theatre Center, home to the Matthews and Berlind Theatres, is recognized as one of the nation's premier theatre companies and performing arts centers. Renowned for major contributions to the theatrical canon, McCarter premieres have included Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I; Emily Mann's Mrs. Packard; Beth Henley's Ridiculous Fraud; Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon; Steven Dietz's Last of the Boys; ReGina Taylor's Crowns; Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman; Emily Mann's Having Our Say; Athol Fugard's Valley Song; and Stephen Wadsworth's Marivaux trilogy. McCarter has also produced major new productions of Brian Friel's Translations, directed by Garry Hynes; Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics; August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson; Edward Albee's All Over (2 Obie Awards), directed by Emily Mann; and Electra, directed David Leveaux. McCarter is supported
by Princeton University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and over 3,000 individuals, corporations and foundations.