Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet


Writers: Tarell Alvin McCraney


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Time & Place
Late August, San Pere, Louisiana
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Diverse Cast, Ensemble Cast, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes

Includes late teen, adult, mature adult, elderly, young adult characters


Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet is the third play in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays Trilogy. Tarell describes it as being a coming out play and a play about a young black boy named Marcus becoming a man. Following the other two plays, we meet Marcus, who is the son of Oba and Elegba (whom we have seen in both In the Red and Brown Water and The Brothers Size. The play begins with Marcus having a recurring dream: he sees a man standing in a pool of water, doubled over and crying. Marcus sets out to find someone who can interpret his dream, and along the way, begins to investigate his father, who Marcus has heard stories of, but knows little about., Marcus tries to find out the truth about his father and discover if he is “sweet” like him. Marcus encounters friends who pressure him to define himself, his mother who shuts down his questions, an old woman who interprets his dream, and a man named Ogun who knew his father well. He also comes across a young man in town who helps him act on his impulses, for better or for worse. Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet is a beautiful view into the life of a young man who just wants to feel like he belongs. But before he can understand his place, he must first uncover his father’s past.

Lead Characters

Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet guide sections