THE BROTHER SISTER PLAYS. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is just 28 but he’s already been a protégé of both August Wilson and British director Peter Brook, won the Cole Porter Playwriting Award at the Yale School of Drama, been named the first recipient of the New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award and is currently the International Playwright in Residence at London’s Royal Shakespeare Company. McCraney’s plays are a unique mix of hip-hop and Homer, African mythology and post-modern sensibilities and this season three — In The Red And Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus; or The Secret Of Sweet — will play in repertory at the Public Theatre from Oct. 21 thru Dec. 13, with marathon performances on weekends.
ECLIPSED. Like nearly everyone else, I was blown away by Ruined, Lynn Nottage’s searing account of the horrors of war in the Congo that justifiably won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and just completed an unprecedented seven-month run at the Manhattan Theatre Club. So I can’t help but be intrigued by this new drama about the civil war in Liberia by Danai Gurira, the co-author of In the Continuum. It opens at the Yale Rep in New Haven on Oct. 29 and I’m thinking that it may be worth the trip before the run ends on Nov 14.
RACE. David Mamet says his new play centers around three law partners—two black and one white—who are trying to decide whether to defend a white man who has been charged with a crime against a black woman. He calls it "a play about lies." The cast includes James Spader, David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington, and Richard Thomas. And the playwright’s well-earned rep for being provocative is enough for this play to stand out amidst a bumper crop of race-related shows — Superior Donuts, Ragtime, Memphis and Finian's Rainbow — that are scheduled for Broadway this fall even though Race is scheduled to be the last to open on Dec. 6.