Topic: College of Fine Arts

September 16, 2019

Poster for “Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet"MUNCIE, Indiana — Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will perform Oscar-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney’s gripping coming-of-age play, “Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet,” at 7:30 p.m. September 20-21 and 24-28, and September 22 at 2:30 p.m. in University Theatre.

“Marcus” tells the story of a young man in his journey to adulthood and sexual and personal identity. Set in Louisiana, the play’s Southern culture, close-knit community, and natural disaster — Hurricane Katrina — all converge for a humorous and provocative tale.

“Everything in this play has been designed to playfully activate the audience’s imagination,” said Matthew Reeder, one of the play’s two directors. “Our storytelling is meant to unify our audience as they put themselves in the characters’ circumstances and begin reflecting on the power of their own communities.”

Amid the storyline is also gospel, ’90s R&B, and contemporary music, plus intricate choreography — an element that is typically absent from plays. The play’s choreographer, Mya Ajanku, said movement adds another unique layer of storytelling to the performance and expresses the ideas words cannot.

The play’s crew was also inspired by the Yoruban experience of storytelling, in which traditional, less “realistic” modes fuse with a contemporary feel.

The play contains mature language and themes. Tickets are $12-$18, or $60 for a 2019-2020 University Theatre subscription, which covers six productions.

For details or Department of Theatre and Dance season subscriptions, call 765-285-8749 or visit