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Bonstelle Theatre presents the Michigan premiere of MacArthur Fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney's "In the Red and Brown Water"

January 23, 2014

Kadijah Perkins as "Oya" 

The Bonstelle Theatre breaks through the misery of one of Detroit's coldest winters with the Michigan premiere of a stellar addition to the canon of African American theatre, In the Red and Brown Water. Performances run February 7-16, 2014.

In the Red and Brown Water is one of three plays comprising the Brother/Sister Plays written by 2013 MacArthur Fellow Tarell Alvin McCarney, an alumnus of the Yale School of Drama, Britain's National Theatre and a current member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble.

McCarney blends West African Yoruban mythology and the African American experience to tell a poetic story of love and choice through the eyes of a teenage girl coming of age in the chaotic yet vibrant Louisiana projects. Oya -- whose name means "the goddess of wind, lightning, fire, fertility and magic" -- finds herself forced into a heart-wrenching decision: to stay with her terminally-ill mother or chase her dream of becoming a college track star. 

Director Aku Kadogo is no stranger to Detroit audiences, having performed extensively throughout the region for many years. A former Wayne State University faculty member, she has also taught at Yongin University in South Korea and NAISDA Dance College in Australia.  

Kadago describes McCarney as a poetic genius in his use of "orishas" -- spirits or deities that reflect one of the manifestations of God in the Yoruba religion. Kadogo's approach to the production is influenced by the playwright's use of orishas as elements of nature today.  "McCarney uses orishas as a metaphor," Kadago says. "For example, Shango and Oya are thunder and wind. When McCraney places them in New Orleans, they cannot fail to be associated with Hurricane Katrina."

Don't miss this groundbreaking experience at the Bonstelle Theatre.

Tickets are available at or by calling 313-577-2960. Join the Bonstelle on Facebook.