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Strange Fruit: 'The Brother Size' Examines Freedom and Tradition at Actors Theatre

The Brothers Size
Bill Brymer
/
Che Ayende and Larry Powell in The Brothers Size Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2015

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/185124578" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]Earlier this week, Actors Theatre  began its run of a show called “The Brothers Size,” by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. “The Brothers Size” is part of McCraney’s trilogy, “The Brother/Sister Plays,” which explore ideas of freedom and tradition, influenced by Yoruban mythology and storytelling.

McCraney has been called the next August Wilson. That can be partially attributed to the fact that there are so few prominent African American playwrights, no doubt, but either way, he's carrying an important mantle.

At age 33, he'd had plays debut at the Royal Court London, New York’s Vineyard Theatre, the Young Vic, and Steppenwolf Theatre, where he is an artist in residence.

This week, we revisit our conversation with McCraney from August 2013, when we spoke about about "The Brothers Size" and how it mirrors his own roots, and why he’s drawn to tell the stories he tells.


In Juicy Fruit, the Cosby saga continues, this week with  Phylicia Rashad and  Keshia Knight Pulliam commenting that the allegations don't reflect the man they know. But as Doc says, "it really makes no sense to ask women who worked with Cosby to speak to his character."

Speaking of Keshia Knight Pulliam, she's on this season of "Celebrity Apprentice," and on one episode is asked to call Bill Cosby for help with a challenge.  Note:  Our show contains spoilers, so skip 11:45-12:30 if you're not caught up!

And we try to make some sense out of the sad and senseless loss of  Leelah Alcorn, a trans teen who committed suicide after being rejected and placed in conversion therapy by her parents. Her story has  shed light on what trans teenagers go through, especially when they don't have support at home; our trans brothers and sisters are at  much higher risk for suicide than the general population.

Fruitcakes, if you are experiencing abuse or thoughts about self-harm, please reach out to the  Trevor Project, at (866) 488-7386, or the  GLBT Help Center.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.