Luminary playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (right) flew into Minneapolis over the weekend to see “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet,” the coming-of-age and coming-out play that is the final installment in his Brother/Sister trilogy.
It was his first trip to the Twin Cities, where the two other works in the trilogy — “In the Red and Brown Water” and “The Brothers Size” — were memorably staged by director Marion McClinton, who also helmed “Marcus.”
Produced by Pillsbury House Theatre and the Mount Curve Company at the Guthrie, “Marcus” drew a full house to the theater on Saturday.
Before the performance, McCraney, who often is compared to August Wilson, dined with director McClinton, assistant director E.G. Bailey and producers Faye Price and Noel Raymond of Pillsbury House, and Frances Wilkinson of Mount Curve.
McCraney said that he often is fully engaged, sometimes in call-and-response style, when he watches his shows.
"It's supposed to be fun," he said.
To wit, he laughed out loud during Saturday's evening performance of "Marcus," sometimes talking back (encouragingly) to the actors.
“That’s it,” he said during a musical number called “Sun Shower,” performed by Nathan Barlow as Marcus and Lauren Davis and Joy Dolo as his friends Osha and Shaunta.
After the performance, McCraney, a Miami native and McArthur “genius” fellowship winner, posed for pictures with the cast. It started with one, and then quickly mushroomed.
McCraney also bought cast-members drinks at Sea Change. He regaled the actors with stories from his life and career, and made clever comments that riffed on their stories.
And McCraney created an in-joke that actors have now begun re-creating. Sometimes, he said, whenever you're pondering something or not in the mood, you just have to sleep on it.
But don't sleep on "Marcus."