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Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS

Steppenwolf Theatre Company continues its 2009-2010 season, an exploration of the theme of belief, with The Brother/Sister Plays: In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by ensemble member Tina Landau from January 21 - May 23, 2010 in Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. The press performances are Saturday, January 30 at 3 p.m. (In the Red and Brown Water) and 7:30 p.m. (Brothers & Marcus) - press are strongly encouraged to attend both programs.

The Brother/Sister Plays will be presented in repertory, with In the Red and Brown Water on one evening in rotation with the two shorter plays, The Brothers Size and Marcus, on the other (with marathon performances on the weekends). The plays can be experienced in any order, although chronologically In the Red or Brown Water comes first, followed by The Brothers Size and then Marcus.

On the banks of the bayou, a small community springs to life with stories of love, sexuality and coming-of-age. Influenced by lively Afro-Caribbean folklore, The Brother/Sister Plays explore the struggles that arise when the quest for self-identity is at odds with community values:

In the Red and Brown Water: Fast, spirited Oya is a promising young athlete who is offered a scholarship that could jump-start her future. Forced to choose between her dying mother and her own dreams, she makes a life-changing decision. Oya's subsequent path to womanhood leads her to a crossroads where she finds herself torn between settling down...and just settling.

The Brothers Size: When Oshooshi Size is released from jail, he goes to work in his brother's car repair shop. When his best friend from prison also shows up, a tense tug of war results. The Brothers Size is a fierce and honest look at the complex bonds of brotherhood.

Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet: Marcus is sixteen. He is also coming to terms with his sexuality while uncovering the mysterious secrets of his family's past. An entrancing coming-of-age story, Marcus is about the difficult quest for identity in an outspoken and strong-willed community.

The Brother/Sister Plays feature ensemble members Alana Arenas, K. Todd Freeman and Ora Jones with Phillip James Brannon, Rodrick Covington, Glenn Davis (1/21 - 3/21), Jeff Parker, Tamberla Perry and Jacqueline Williams.

Tarell Alvin McCraney and ensemble member Tina Landau have collaborated on five productions, including In the Red and Brown Water at NY's Public Theater, New Jersey's McCarter Theatre Center and Atlanta's Alliance Theatre. The Brother/Sister Plays have also been presented individually in Atlanta, Dublin, London and New York. McCraney's hit play Wig Out! premiered at New York's Vineyard Theater (directed by Landau) and was later presented at London's Royal Court Theatre. McCraney also appeared in Landau's Theatrical Essays at Steppenwolf. Tina Landau's directing credits include Superior Donuts by ensemble member Tracy Letts (currently running on Broadway through January 3, 2010), The Tempest, The Diary of Anne Frank, Cherry Orchard, The Time of Your Life (also Seattle Rep, A.C.T.), The Berlin Circle and her own play, Space (also NY's Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum).

The design team for The Brother/Sister Plays includes: James Schuette (sets and costumes), Scott Zielinski (lights), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound) and Zane Mark (musical supervisor). Deb Styer is the Stage Manager and Rose Marie Packer is the Assistant Stage Manager.

Title: The Brother/Sister Plays: In the Red and Brown Water, The
Brothers Size and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet
Playwright: Tarell Alvin McCraney
Director: ensemble member Tina Landau

Featuring: ensemble members Alana Arenas (Oya, Shaunta Iyun), K. Todd Freeman (Ogun Size) and Ora Jones (Mama Moja, Nia, The Woman Who Reminds You, Oba) with Phillip James Brannon (Egungun, Oshoosi Size, Terrell), Rodrick Covington (Shango, Shua), Glenn Davis (Elegba, Marcus - 1/21 - 3/21), Jeff Parker (Ol Li Roon, The Man From State, Ensemble), Tamberla Perry (Shun, Osha) and Jacqueline Williams (Aunt Elegua, Shun).

Location: Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St.

Dates: Previews: January 21 - 30, 2010
Press performances: Saturday, January 30 at 3 p.m./7:30 p.m.
Opening: Sunday, January 31 at 2 p.m./6 p.m.
Regular Run: February 2 - May 23, 2010

Curtain Times: The Brother/Sister Plays will be performed in repertory (for the specific schedule, contact Audience Services)
Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday matinees on April 7, 14 and May 5 at 2:00 p.m.
Note: there is no 7:30 p.m. performance on Jan. 31, April 11, April 18 or May 8; there is no 3:00 p.m. performance on Jan. 31 and May 8.

Ticket prices: Previews: $20-$48
Regular Run: $20-$70
Twenty $20 tickets are available at Audience Services beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the day of each performance (1:00 p.m. for Sunday performances). Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student discounts available.

Audience Services: 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650
Online ticketing available at www.steppenwolf.org

The Brother/Sister Plays Wine Tasting Night: Enjoy wine and food pairings from Vinci Restaurant while our DJ spins tunes in our balcony lobby: Wednesday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m. Tasting and performance cost $60 per person. For tickets and additional information, contact Audience Services.

The Brother/Sister Plays MaTEENée performance for high school students will be held on Saturday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 and include: a ticket to the performance, lunch and a post-show discussion with actors featured in the production - hosted by Steppenwolf's Young Adults Council.

Free post-show discussions are offered after every performance.

The Sara Lee Foundation is the corporate production sponsor of The Brother/Sister Plays. The Chicago Community Trust is the foundation production sponsor of The Brother/Sister Plays. The Talbott Hotel is the hotel partner of The Brother/Sister Plays. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street and lot parking are available. Assistive listening devices are available for every performance.

Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company's mission is to advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and contributing new works to the national canon. The company, formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect and the development of artists through on-going group work. Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of 42 artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting and textual adaptation. For additional information, visit www.steppenwolf.org.

Photo by Michael Brosilow

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Tamberla Perry, Alana Arenas and K. Todd Freeman

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Glenn Davis, Jeff Parker, Phillip James Brannon and Rodrick Covington

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Glenn Davis and Rodrick Covington

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Phillip James Brannon, Glenn Davis and K. Todd Freeman

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Glenn Davis, Phillip James Brannon and K. Todd Freeman

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Ora Jones and Alana Arenas and the cast of Steppenwolf's The Brother/Sister Plays

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Alana Arenas and the cast of Steppenwolf's The Brother/Sister Plays

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Alana Arenas (center) and the cast of Steppenwolf's The Brother/Sister Plays

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS
Alana Arenas (above), Jacqueline Williams (below) and the cast of Steppenwolf's The Brother/Sister Plays

Photos: Steppenwolf Presents THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS


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