About Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet

The final installment of Tarell Alvin McCraney's acclaimed “Brother/Sister Plays'' trilogy, “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet” is a The Flourish Alabama and Birmingham Black Repertory Theatre Collective co-production, presented by Encore Theatre & Gallery along with Birmingham Festival Theatre. This production is sponsored by Viiv Healthcare & The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham’s LGBTQ Fund, and Magic City Acceptance Center.

Synopsis: In his last year of high school, the titular character Marcus (played by Rodney Fomby) is haunted by dreams and distressed by doubts from his friends and family. In the days before an ominous storm, Marcus journeys to discover who he is and where he comes from by unraveling pieces together of his own ancestral legacy, he realizes the special power that being “sweet” brings. An intergenerational tale of community, coming-of-age, & coming-out that infuses ordinary life with West African mythology in the Louisiana bayou. 

The cast for “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet” includes some of the region's brightest talent. Starring: Rodney Fomby as “Marcus”, Meagan Oliver as “Osha”, Emmy Award Nominated Actress Ah’Myrah Amone as “Shaunta Iyun” (King Ester), Damone Williams as “Ochoosi Size/Shua”, Kendall Johnson as “Ogun Size”, Marva Douglas as “Elegua”, and Jaylon Coleman as “Terrell”.

The creative team is rounded out with Stage Manager Kayla Hampton, Lighting Designer Benjo Verge, Musical Director & Sound Designer Aija Penix, Costume Designer & Intimacy Choreographer Jada Cato, Assistant Director R’Kasia Mitchell, Director Carlton V Bell II, and Key Producer Akeyla Chatman.

Content Advisory  

While Birmingham Black Repertory Theatre Collective does not offer official ratings or suggest advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person; The nature of this story centers around adolescent youth, and while they are encouraged to attend, please use a trauma-informed discretion when deciding if this production is appropriate for you, your child, or your student. This production contains racialized language as well as the portrayal of consensual & non-consensual intimacy. 

If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects(such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact our team directly [email protected], from there they can chat directly with our Intimacy Coordinator to get more concise information on the themes in the play. 

THE STORY: Marcus is sixteen and "sweet." Days before Hurricane Katrina strikes the projects of Louisiana, the currents of his life converge, overflowing into his close-knit community and launching the search for his sexual and personal identity on a cultural landscape infused with mysterious family creeds. The provocative, poignant, and fiercely humorous coming-of-age story of a young gay man in the South, MARCUS is the stirring conclusion of The Brother/Sister Plays (In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size, and Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet.)

“[McCraney] writes with a passion and urgency that can’t be faked.” —The New York Times.

“With MARCUS; OR THE SECRET OF SWEET, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney completes the last leg of an irresistible bayou trilogy.” —Washington Post.

“An extraordinary event…MARCUS is an engaging, gently provocative, universal tale. And, yes, it’s sweet.” —San Francisco Chronicle.

“These are spiritual works that thrum with vitality, whether it’s joyous or melancholy, told in vigorous language that artfully folds together slangy vernacular with bursts of haunting poetry.” —Variety.

Birmingham Festival Theatre