Essential Theatre presents ‘In the Red and Brown Water’

The flyer of the "In the Red and Brown Water" play.
 Courtesy of the FAMU Essential Theatre.

Florida A&M’s Essential Theatre will be presenting “In the Red and Brown Water” through Sunday. It is a play written by Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by FAMU’s Beth Turner in the Charles Winter Wood Theatre in Tucker Hall.

Due to Hurricane Michael, new dates and times for performances were implemented as follows: Thursday, Oct 25 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

With a story set in San Pere, Louisiana, Candis Dancy embodied the main role of Oya. Dancy was able to successfully convince the audience that she was a teenage track star looking for her next big break.

Dancy’s character soon faces hardships as the unimaginable happens – and Oya is forced to grow up before her time.

The story then proceeds to take the audience on a journey through Oya’s life after a significant change has occurred. Unlike past plays at FAMU, “In the Red and Brown Water,” is an unconventional play. Throughout the show, a narrator speaks the parentheticals (short descriptions of characters’ attitude and action direction) of the script.

Tennian Gayle, a sophomore physical therapy major, shared her reaction to the play.

“At first, I was slightly confused because of all the different elements that I haven’t seen at past plays that I’ve been to at FAMU,” said Gayle, “but by the end I put two and two together and although I don’t like the ending, the story overall kept me interested the whole time.”

The play has mature content and strong language, so it is suggested for those aged 13 and up.

“In the Red and Brown Water” had the audience captured throughout the play, with groans and laughter heard from the audience as certain scenes played out.

Octavia McFarlane, a senior biology major, expressed her frustration with one of the main characters, Shango.

“Every time he came on stage, I knew something crazy was about to happen. He was such a troublemaker and Oya just kept falling for him,” said McFarlane.

Assistant house manager and senior theatre arts major Isis Shaw spoke on the outcome of people who came to support in regard to Wednesday night’s show.

“We had 182 people come out today. When everyone was leaving, they had great feedback and really enjoyed the show because it was different,” said Shaw.

For more information, call (850) 561-2425, or visit