The Actor’s Express drama “The Brothers Size” features Ibraheem Farmer (left) and Terrance White. CONTRIBUTED BY CASEY GARDNER PHOTOGRAPHY
But Little’s own acting expertise could explain his proven directorial propensity for eliciting superb performances from his casts. His co-stars in “The Brothers Size” are no exception to that rule. All of them are making their Actor’s Express debuts and, frankly, none of them are exactly familiar faces on the local scene — which only makes it easier, of course, for an audience to so fully accept and believe them in these particular roles.
Aaron Sedrick Goodson plays Ogun Size (a character first introduced in “Water”), who owns an auto repair shop and struggles to keep a watchful eye on his recently paroled brother, Oshoosi (who materialized in several dream sequences in “Marcus”). Portrayed by Terrance White, Oshoosi yearns to be truly free, but he’s prone to his own private nightmares. Many of those involve a fellow ex-con who threatens to lead him astray, Elegba (another earlier character from “Water,” and later the father of the titular Marcus), played by Ibraheem Farmer.
On the surface, “Water” was a potentially pedestrian drama about a young girl’s coming of age, at first torn between leaving home on a college scholarship and staying behind to care for her ailing mother, and then eventually torn between two lovers, just as routinely. By a similar token, for all of its atmospheric blurring between illusion and reality, “Marcus” was basically just another coming-out story about its gay protagonist grappling with his sexuality.
In one sense, that McCraney might be covering common dysfunctional-family ground in “The Brothers Size” is part of the theatrical conceit of his trilogy. But, as in those other two cases, the poetic flourishes in the writing keep the play feeling fresh and vital, no matter how ponderously the plot ultimately unfolds — that, plus the additional benefit of a trio of purely galvanizing performances.
“The Brothers Size”
Production temporarily suspended through early April, 2020. Show will reopen at a later date. $20-$35. Actor's Express (at King Plow Arts Center), 887 W. Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-607-7469. www.actors-express.com.
Bottom line: By turns lyrical and heavy, but powerfully performed.