In the Red and Brown Water (2016)


Event Status

By Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed by Charles O. Anderson and Robert Ramirez 

"A rare work of lyricism." - The New York Times

How far will Oya go to make a mark in the world? A young runner with boundless possibilities, Oya is forced to choose between her ailing mother and her own dreams. This intoxicating movement-infused theatre work charts a young girl's thrust into womanhood and her subsequent fall into the murky waters of life. 

Premiered in 2008 at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, In the Red and Brown Water is one of three plays in Tarell Alvin McCraney's acclaimed trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays. "I lived in the other America, the America that doesn't always get depicted in the cinema. The America that we are told to pretend isn't there," shares playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. "An in an attempt to create theater that told untold stories, that gave voice to another half of America, I created The Brother/Sister Plays."

In the Red and Brown Water contains mature themes and adult language, and is recommended for guests 17 years old and greater. The running time is approximately two hours and includes one intermission. View the In the Red and Brown Water playbill.


Preview: October 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening: October 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Additional Dates: October 7-8, 11-14 at 7:30 p.m. and October 8-9, 16 at 2:00 p.m.


About the Playwright 

Tarell Alvin McCraney's plays include Wig Out! (developed at Sundance Theatre Lab, produced in New York by the Vanguard Theatre and in London by the Royal Court) and the trilogy entitled The Brother/Sister Plays, including: The Brothers Size (simultaneously premiered in New York at the Public Theater and in London at the Young Vic where it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement at an Affiliated Theatre); In the Red and Brown Water (winner of the Kindeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, produced at the Alliance Theatre and the Young Vic) and Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet. His other plays include Without/Sin and Run, Mourner, Run (adapted from Randall Kenan's short story), both of which premiered at Yale Cabaret. 

McCraney received a B.F.A. in Acting from DePaul University and is a 2007 graduate of the Yale School of Drama's playwriting program, headed by Richard Nelson, where he also received the Cole Porter Playwriting Award upon graduation. He is the Royal Shakespeare Company's international writer in residence, the 2009 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, the recipient of the 2007 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the 2007 Whiting Award. In 2008, McCraney was the recipient of the London Evening Standard's Award for Most Promising Playwright. 

About the Directors 

Charles O. Anderson, a native of Richmond, Virginia, is head of the dance program and producing director of the B.F.A. dance company, Dance Repertory Theatre at The University of Texas at Austin as wel as artistic director of the critically-acclaimed afro-contemporary dance theatre company, dance theatre X (founded in 2003). He received his M.F.A. in Dance from Temple University (2002) in Philadelphia where he lived previously. Among his achievements in afro-contemporary choreography and dance theatre, Anderson was selected as one of "25 Artists to Watch" by Dance Magazine and is a Pew Fellowship in the Arts recipient. His choreography, set upon undergraduate students, has been nationally showcased twice at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through the American College Dance Association and he has also been recognized for outstanding achievement in experimental dance theatre by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. 

Robert Ramirez is the head of the acting program at The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance. He has served as a voice and text director for numerous theatres and university productions including the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, the Krannert Center for the Arts, Austin Shakespeare and American Players Theatre. He has performed as an actor with the New York, Utah, Great River, Illinois, Alabama, Baltimore and Wisconsin Shakespeare Festivals as well as numerous theatres in New York City. Most recently, he served as the voice and text director for the world premiere of The River Bride at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has been an award-winning voice artist and narrator of audio books for the past 19 years and is a long-time member of the Recorded Books Repertory Company in New York City. Ramirez received his M.F.A. in Acting from the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware and is a proud member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.

Community Engagement Event

Wednesday, October 12, following the 7:30 p.m. performance
Post-Performance Conversation and Q&A, Led by Dr. Lisa B. Thompson with the In the Red and Brown Water Cast and Directors

Described as "one of the most startling new voices to emerge in the American theatre" (Emily Mann, Artistic Director, McCarter Theatre), Tarell Alvin McCraney has been heralded by critics and theatre makers since graduating from the Yale School of Drama. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Whiting Award, Steinberg Playwright Award and the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. Weaving together mythology, poetry and realism, McCraney crafts stories about complex relationships and experiences of the everyday. Join us in a conversation about McCraney's storytelling and its impact on the future of American theatre.

Lisa B. Thompson is an playwright and associate professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of English, and Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin. Her plays include Single Black Female, Monroe, Dreadtime Stories: One Sista's Hair, Mother's Day, I Don't Want to Be (Mamie Till), The Mamalogues, Watch and Underground. Her work has been produced and/or developed by Crossroads Theatre Company, New Professional Theatre, Brava Theater Center, Theatre Rhinoceros, New African Grove Theatre Company, Black Spectrum Theatre, Company of Angels Theater, FronteraFest, The One-Minute Play Festival, the Out of Ink Ten Minute Play Festival, Vortex Repertory Company and the National Black Theatre Festival. Thompson's book, Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class, received Honorable Mention in competition for the National Women's Studies Association's 2010 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize. Her creative work has been anthologized in Contemporary Plays by African American Women: Ten Complete Works; From Bourgeois to Boojie: Black Middle Class Performances and Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. She has received fellowships and awards from a number of institutions including Harvard University's Hutchin's Center for African and African American Research; the University of California's Office of the President; Stanford University's Michele R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research; UCLA's Center for African American Studies; the Five Colleges Inc; the Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, and Stanford University's Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Follow her on Twitter @playprof

In the Red and Brown Water was originally produced by Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA (Susan Booth, Artistic Director; Thomas Pechar, Managing Director).

U.K. stage premiere produced by the Young Vic Company.

World premiere of The Brother/Sister Plays produced by the Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamington, Executive Director), and McCarter Theatre Center (Emily Mann, Artistic Director; Timothy J. Shields, Managing Director).

The Brother/Sister Plays were developed with the support of the McCarter Theatre Center.

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