“We would never have experienced the conspiracy theories.”
Tarell Alvin McCraney is to reflect on so-called envelopegate a year on the mix-up that led to a bad movie, “La La Land”, initially named the best film of last year’s Oscars.
The author says that now, with hindsight, he’s glad things transpired as they did, with two groups of cast and crew up on stage to pick up the Prize of the Academy.
“Imagine if, before, they had made the announcement of the wrong envelope, the lecturers have understood that it was a mistake, stopped and said, ‘No, we have the wrong envelope… hold on”.
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“And then made everyone wait for five minutes (which really feels like an hour on live TV) to get the right envelope and then announce who had won the title of best photo. We probably would have never lived the conspiracy theories.
“Fortunately, it doesn’t happen that way, but I was still shocked and surprised and happy and confused that everyone looks at the home and at the event.”
Videos of the moment where it became obvious that the wrong movie had been announced are excruciatingly embarrassing to watch.
You see McCraney the face of the actors and the team make their way to the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles – confused at first, then shocked.
“I think there are some clips on YouTube, where you can see my reaction as it happened”, he said.
Envelope misadventures aside, McCraney had many things to celebrate in the night.
He had already earned the Oscar for the best adapted screenplay, with the Moonlight is the director Barry Jenkins, for the light of the Moon Black Boys Look Blue – the game the film is based on.
Which brings us to this year, the academy awards, which will take place on 4 March. It turns out McCraney is a big fan of a British actor in particular.
“Unfortunately, I have not had a moment to see the movies nominated for best picture,” he says. “But Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for the best actor for his role in the escape.
“I hope that everyone in the UK is as excited as I am! I’ve seen her in Sucker Punch at the Royal Court a few years ago and …wow. Huge congratulations to him.”
McCraney has been back in the united KINGDOM itself for the rebirth of the Brothers Size at the Young Vic in London.
It was 10 years ago that it was first staged, in the same place. Not much has changed on the game itself at this time, he says- in spite of a lot of evolution for McCraney.
The Brothers Size tells the story of Ogun and Oshooshi Size – the two brothers of the title – and Oshoosi’s former cellmate Elegba.
They pace the stage, which is naked but for a circle of chalk that they draw at the beginning of 90 minutes of play, as well as the establishment of the scene, they also read directions, and dancing and singing.
He had four and five stars, The Guardian calling it “magical and mysterious”, The Time which he describes as “mesmerizing” and the Evening Standard, saying that it “combines emergency rhythmic dialogue with the strangeness of a dream”.
“The sense of nowness is more powerful than nostalgia,” he explains. “It doesn’t feel like it’s been 10 years.
“It feels like we have worked on a game before, and now we are back to do some essential work to tell stories that we are urgent.
“The building is more alive with this game, although I’ve never seen. It’s very exciting.”‘Ongoing Oppression’
The urgency of the story it tells is about the reconciliation and liberation, as well as the links between the brothers, whether of blood or friendship.
It has echoes of the Yoruba mythology – including Ogun to be named after the Yoruba god of hard work and bad dreams suffered by his younger brother, as he struggles to adapt to life outside his prison cell to resonate throughout the room.
Set in Louisiana – in a time that is never explicitly mentioned in the script – so, how is it relevant to London today? In a lot of ways, ” says McCraney.
“The oppression of people of color continues,” he said. “The prison and the rehabilitation process is deeply flawed.
“We know more now than we did 10 years ago.”
While his first piece of theatre, it is now the second in chronological order, in terms of narrative, of his Brother/Sister plays trilogy, In The Red and Brown Water and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet.
And it’s just been announced that McCraney makes his Broadway debut with Choir boy, early next year.
“I really enjoy the game and have always wanted to review it with a deepening of the goal,” he said. “The Brothers Size is a play that I’ve never wanted to cancel or to tinker with, this is the game, as In the Red and Brown Water, where I am constantly discovering more the more I allow the employees to put their ideas into writing.”
As for the moment? McCraney is most of the time to teaching as well as learning from his own students, he said.
“I really appreciate it,” he said.
Asked how the Moon is, the success has changed things for him, he said: “It has not changed much. I still teach, I still write.
“People ask me more questions about award ceremonies, but I count it all as joy.”
The Brothers Size is on at the Young Vic until 14 February
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