Wednesday, June 7, 2023

‘The Brothers Size’ Results in Standing Ovation

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Jamonte Madison, Raekwon Wilkes, Louis Friedli stand strong with arms outstrechted in a powerful display of unity. PN Photo/Abigail Chabala

By Abigail Chabala

A projector, white props and white costumes were all that was needed to set the scene for UNCP’s production of “The Brothers Size” directed by Dr. Jonathan Drahos. 

The play is set in the Louisiana Bayou, focusing on two brothers, Ogun, and Oshoosi Size. The two brothers were separated when the younger brother, Oshoosi, went to prison. When Oshoosi was released, the two brothers were reunited, and the play is a display of the bond between two brothers. The play consisted of a combination of poetry, music, and dance. 

The Brothers Size was written by Tarell Alvin McCraney and is the second play in The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy. 

UNCP’s production consisted of four students: senior Theatre Major, Jamonte Madison as Oshoosi Size, senior Psychology Major, Raekwon Wilkes, as Ogun Size, senior Theatre Major, Louis Friedli as Elegba and freshman Theatre Major, Seonte Mckeithan, as Music Spirit.

Senior Psychology Major, Raekwon Wilkes, as Ogun, said the overall message of the is about “being free in your own way.” 

“Yes, brotherhood is a theme in the play, but I feel like it is much deeper than that. Not letting the past define you, and balance is the main message to me. Throughout all the turmoil, there is still light,” Wilkes said.

Jamonte Madison yells powerfully PN Photo/Abigail Chabala.

The stage was decorated with white props and a giant projector screen. Each character dressed in white from head to toe. The University’s Theatre Director, Drahos, has been directing Theatre productions for about 20 years.

Drahos made the decision to strip away the technical elements to focus on the language of the play, which works on three different levels. It works on a very human level in terms of the characters and what they want from each other and their lives. It works on a poetic level because the language of the play is a vernacular that is recognizable. Language is very poetic, and it works on a cosmological level.

“The projections were key in establishing the cosmological level of the play, and by stripping the color out, it crystalized and minimalized what those characters represent in terms of a contemporary view, which made it more universal in terms of how the characters can be viewed in our time and also all time,” Drahos said.

As the characters came out to the stage, they narrated their entrances and their motivations. This helped the audience understand what the characters were doing, and what they were feeling. Having the narrated stage directions might have helped the audience relate to the character more. 

“Some advice I would give someone about being a part of theatre is to have fun and to use whatever emotion you may feel in every rehearsal and performance. You can learn from anyone, and having an open mind is key,” Wilkes said.

The play ran from Sept. 23 to Sept. 24, 2022, in the University’s Given Performing Arts Center. The powerful piece of theatre, “The Brothers Size,” concluded with a standing ovation from the audience.

UNCP Student News
UNCP Student News
UNCP student newspaper since 1947.
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