"The Brothers Size"— the standalone centerpiece of Tarell Alvin McCraney's Brother/Sister trilogy — is easily summarized, but hard to encapsulate. McCraney takes a cue from William Faulkner, building a fictional, but intensely representative Louisiana town similar to the Mississippi author's Yoknapatawpha, Co. The plot revolves around Oshoosi, a young ex-convict torn between two competing visions of freedom. Oshoosi's brother is committed to his his car shop and the idea that success is the result of sacrifice and hard work. His former cellmate offers alternatives that grow less tempting in light of a sticky, biased justice system.
McCraney takes a formal approach to his intensely theatrical storytelling. Actors speak their stage directions. His narratives aspire to myth and are often driven by percussion, calling to mind 20th-Century reformers like Peter Brook and Sam Shepard's work with Joseph Chaikin.
I don't have any clips from the Hattiloo's production of The Brother's Size, which opens this week and runs through Feb 7. There are, however, a few available scenes from the theater's recent production of McCraney's In theRed and Brown Water.