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20 Years of The Brothers Size

Kicking off his inaugural season as Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s acclaimed play The Brothers Size celebrates its 20th anniversary in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.

The Brothers Size was written in 2003 as part of The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy and debuted as a co-production at The Public Theater and Foundry Theater in 2007. The world premiere of the full trilogy was at the McCarter Theatre Center this same time. In regard to Mr. McCraney's writing, the New York Times proclaimed, “Listen closely, and you might hear that thrilling sound that is one of the main reasons we go to the theater, that beautiful music of a new voice.”

"An absorbing and emotionally resonant drama." – New York Times

Following its 2007 premiere, The Brother/Sister Plays, including The Brothers Size, were programmed across the country: San Francisco, Chicago, and beyond. “A perfect storm of inchoate feelings and ideas, grasping for expression," according to SFGATE. This was also the time Tarell Alvin McCraney met UK director Bijan Sheibani to mount London's first production of The Brothers Size at the Young Vic Theatre, which became a sensation and garnered an Olivier Award nomination.

In 2014, The Brothers Size landed for the first time in Los Angeles for a multi-week extended production at the Fountain Theatre. “Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney boasts a rare talent: an utterly distinctive voice. He sounds like no one else, his cadences hearty and beautiful. I am in love with his voice, and in all likelihood you will feel the same way," exclaimed The Hollywood Reporter.

"'The Brothers Size' thrills with wit & vibrancy." – Los Angeles Times

Following the overwhelming success of their 2007 production, the Young Vic mounted a revival of The Brothers Size in 2018, reuniting Tarell Alvin McCraney with director Bijan Sheibani, and again to rave reviews. “Bijan Sheibani’s electric, superbly acted revival is magical," according to the Financial Times.

In addition, Steppenwolf Theater mounted its own revival in 2019. “Combined with a trio of powerfully layered performances The Brothers Size offers the kind of intro to theater that could make lifelong converts," noted the Chicago Sun Times.

"This is pure theatre." – The Times

Now, as Artistic Director, Tarell Alvin McCraney is excited to introduce audiences to one of his very first plays as an entrée to the story-driven theatrical experiences he plans to bring to the Geffen Playhouse.

Join us and experience the powerful The Brothers Size—20 years in the making—at the Geffen Playhouse this summer and fall!

The Brothers Size

AUG 14 – SEP 8, 2024

Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Bijan Sheibani
A Co-Production with The Shed
Featuring Alani iLongwe, Malcolm Mays & Sheaun McKinney

Drawing from the rich tradition of the Yoruba people of West Africa, The Brothers Size is a modern-day fable about two brothers in the Deep South. Ogun, the elder brother, embodies hard work and reliability, while Oshoosi, formerly incarcerated, is seemingly carefree and unpredictable. Their relationship is tested when the charismatic Elegba arrives, tempting Oshoosi back to his old habits. As the brothers wrestle with loyalty, freedom, and duty, their humanity is revealed through a raw and heartfelt exploration of the bonds of brotherhood.

Geffen Playhouse’s Theater as a Lens for Justice initiative provides access to this production and supplementary programs for populations impacted by incarceration and is supported, in part, by Jayne Baron Sherman.


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