American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
June 28 – October 8
Prison walls extend far beyond prison gates, destroying families, infecting dreams and mocking what hope is left after time served. In the Louisiana Bayou, brothers by blood and by mythic circumstance struggle to find connection in the wake of incarceration. With a love that is abundant and complex; beautiful and dangerous, they navigate a road where those prison gates remain, always, in their rear view. They find themselves at a crossroads where fate, hope and desperation collide. Where their love for each other must redefine what it means to be free. Kinetic and musical and achingly poetic, with characters steeped in the Yoruba cosmology, The Brothers Size sings the ancient bond of brotherhood.
Featuring Nathan Barlow, Rasell Holt & Derrick Moore
In the Louisiana bayou, Ogun Size is the hardworking and steady brother to the younger Oshoosi. Ogun worries constantly about his brother, who's fresh out of prison and restless. When Elegba, Oshoosi's old prison-mate arrives with a gift, their relationship is thrown out of balance. Influenced by the rich culture of the Yoruba people of West Africa, this contemporary tale begins in ritual and evolves into a tough and tender drama of what it means to brother and be brothered. Combining flights of poetry, music and dance, The Brothers Size explores the tenuousness of freedom and the need to belong. Originally slated for the 2020 season.
Contains adult themes and language.
American Players Theatre's 'The Brothers Size' is a Story of Epic Struggle
Gwendolyn Rice, Isthmus, July 6, 2022
The Brothers Size - Trying to Hold the Family Together
Alexis Bugajski, Picture this Post, July 8, 2022
Theater review: 'Brothers Size' at APT finds that freedom is fragile
Lindsay Christians, The Cap Times, July 16, 2022
When I first saw The Brothers Size I realized that I had just been gifted with one of those once-in-a-lifetime, transcendent experiences. It was religious for me as I “caught the spirit” and literally could not move out of my seat after curtain call. That moment embodies all that I chase when I go to the theatre - a truly transformative, communal offering of call and response that connects our ancient humanity to the fragile and uncertain present in which we live.
As a Black man living in America and as the father of two young Black adults, every day is a journey of navigating that fragility and uncertainty that the color of our skin brings to our very existence, not to mention our freedom or the lack thereof. We dread losing our lives. We dread losing our tentative “freedom.” Many of us live with these fears daily.
As stated in an article published by the Vera Institute Of Justice: “The 13th Amendment may have outlawed the enslavement of Black people, but the United States continues to devise new ways to uphold the racist hierarchies that slavery was founded on and to restrict the freedom of the descendants of enslaved people.” I believe that the disproportionate numbers of black and brown bodies behind prison bars, the mass incarceration of young Black men in particular represents the most blatant of these racist hierarchies.
On a daily basis we live with the fear of being murdered or locked up for driving while Black, walking while Black, sitting while Black, standing while Black, talking while Black, running while Black, and yes, breathing while Black. This is not hyperbole - it’s our reality. The fabric of the Black family sees a deeper tear every time a father, son, uncle, cousin, grandfather, nephew or brother is murdered or put behind bars. Yet still we try. Still we hope. Still we smile. Still we give. Still we share. Still we cry. And yes, still we love. The Brothers Size sings a song of that love - the love between brothers that gives breath and tears and hope to the possibility of real freedom, not tomorrow in heaven, but today on earth.