Whoever said that it’s no fun to watch the sausage get made hasn’t seen the sterling cast of Twin Cities actors rehearse “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet,” the last play in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister trilogy.

At a recent run-through, the ensemble playfully and lyrically lit into the dialogue of the drama about a young gay black man’s coming of age in Louisiana.

Nathan Barlow, who plays Marcus, sang and moved fluidly with Lauren Davis and Joy Dolo, who depict his good friends Osha and Shaunta. The three were not in costume, but as they performed a number that suggested a disco version of the Supremes, you wouldn’t mind paying big bucks to see their clear mastery and obvious pleasure in the material.

“This play, these characters, they’re so real and rich,” said Barlow during a break. He compared the show to an exquisite buffet, because of the poetic lines that the young actors who dominate the cast get to deliver.

“Marcus,” which opens Saturday at the Guthrie Theater, produced by Pillsbury House Theatre and the Mount Curve Company, has a creative team — director Marion McClinton, costume designer Kalere Payton, choreographer Patricia Brown — that is largely intact from two earlier McCraney productions in the Twin Cities.

The play itself uses the same Yoruba cosmology as a reference, while the characters in “Marcus” are descendants and relatives of those in the plays that came in the two productions before — “In the Red and Brown Water” and “The Brothers Size.” James A. Williams, who has been in all three plays, returns as Ogun Size. Aimee Bryant, from “Red and Brown Water,” returns as an older and wiser Shun.

“Marcus” centers on the 16-year-old son of the late Elegba. Marcus, who is having unusual dreams, is hungry for someone to teach him how to be a man. The fact that he is gay is obvious to all, except for Marcus and Osha (Davis), the friend who has a crush on him. Osha also has a boyfriend who may or may not be the mystery man spotted on a beach with Marcus.

Casting is “more than half” of his job as a director, McClinton said.

“You get good people and you let them work. We are so far ahead of where I planned to be now because these are the best players I could ask for,” he said. “And at the auditions, I saw enough talent to cast his play two, three times.”

Other “Marcus” actors include Darius Dotch, Mikell Sapp and Jamila Anderson. Actor/singer Thomasina Petrus has been brought on to work on the music.

Touchy subject matter

“Marcus,” which Britain’s The Guardian described as McCraney’s “coming-out play,” delves into the still touchy subject of homophobia among some African-Americans. The play seeks to address the source of this “BlackMoPhobia,” some of it anchored in religious language.

When Marcus, Osha and Shaunta are talking about the word “sweet,” Shaunta explains that black people are not naturally homophobic. Some antigay sentiment was taught and passed down from slavery. “Say the slave owners get pissed if they find out they slaves got gay love,” she says. “That means less children, less slaves … less.”

Director McClinton said that “Marcus” playfully tries to address the source of such beliefs. “It’s a play, but how else can you explain that stuff?” he said. “That stuff has to be taught.”

Bryant said that gays have always been a recognized part of the community. As others have noted, if gays did not participate in church, there would hardly be any music at Sunday services.

“It’s just that people don’t want to talk about it,” she said.

Frances Wilkinson, the principal at co-producer Mount Curve, said that she is pleased to have the final installment of McCraney’s trilogy onstage. Taken together, they form an epic. But dribbled over three years, the productions have proved to be just as rich.

“Tarell is a major voice, and he’s dealing with issues and themes in a way that’s so profound but also so playful, it’s exciting to watch,” she said.