The tragedy is the story of Rogelio and Sergio, siblings who live together in San Francisco. They were born in Mexico City to old money and brought to the U.S. in their childhood by their now-deceased parents. Sergio, the younger brother and a budding novelist, was abused as a child. Rogelio, his older brother and a successful painter living with AIDS, was unable to intervene and stop the crime. Weakened by fulminating cryptococcal meningitis, he seeks to atone for this before he dies.
As the play opens, Rogelio informs Sergio that he’s decided to both stop painting and discontinue the use of the medication that’s preserving his life. Terrified by the implications of this, Sergio tries to dissuade him, and when he fails, resorts to seducing him. The brothers slowly and unwittingly shut out the outside world, sepulchering themselves in their apartment. Their new arrangement delivers initial comfort, but soon the doors of their past fly open. The brothers’ childhood traumas are revealed to be driving both of them to risky self-sacrifice.
The playscript is realistic in tone, but will be staged with strong visual imagery, including paintings by Juan Ramirez (www.tahuti.org) and expressionistic lighting. The sex scenes are non-literal, in order to emotionally distance the audience from the on-stage action.
The piece will be acted by Mario Golden and Mauricio Leyton. Set design is by Yanko Bakulic.
Playwright Mario Golden worked in the AIDS community from 1990 to 2005, training people to answer the AIDS hotline, and also as a counselor and coordinator in a prevention program. Once he had a client who had been infected with HIV by sex with his own brother. The incident stuck with Golden, inspiring him to write a play that seeks understanding for how this taboo incident could have been an act of love. “Gay men will deeply understand, on a lot of levels, what’s happening in the story,” says Golden.
According to Golden, when a boy is abused, a part of him steps outside his body, observing himself from above. “The Love of Brothers” reveals this process through Sergio’s fiction, which is read in stunning monologues. It is a sign that his old traumas are to be relived. In the interplay between the two characters, the younger brother acquires consciousness of the trauma but must let go of his older brother, who represents the body of pain.
Mario Golden is a NY based artist (playwright, actor, producer, and director) and spiritual counselor working in the U.S. and internationally. He is a member of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater Professional Playwrights Unit, the Village Playwrights, and the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. He co-wrote the Spanish-language feature film, “Del Otro Lado” (The Other Side), which was a hit at its premiere in San Francisco in 1999 and subsequently screened at numerous independent international film festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. His play, “One Less Queen,” was published in the anthology “Positive/Negative: Women of Color and HIV.” Golden also wrote the one-act play, “The Trip,” which was selected for the 2004 Strawberry One Act Festival and the Samuel French Short Play Festival in New York. As an actor, he has appeared in several stage productions in NYC, including “Turning Point,” a series of one-acts that TNC presented last season. He can be seen in the films “Falling” (available on Netflix) and “The Mule,” which was picked up by HBO Latin America. He earned a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Education at Stanford. He is Founding Co-director of OneHeart Productions, a non-profit theater and film company.
Andreas Robertz is a German-born theater director and Artistic Director of OneHeart Productions. He was Artistic Director of the Children’s and Youth Theater of the City Theater of Muenster and Artistic Advisor for the City Arts Council and Resident Director at the Artheater Cologne. While in Cologne, he produced and directed a number of contemporary American, Canadian, and English plays to critical acclaim. He has received numerous regional and national awards and nominations in Germany, including the 2006 Cologne City Award for “The Pillowman” and the 2008 Golden Penguin Award for “Which Drug Fits Best to Me?” Last season, TNC presented “Turning Point,” a series of one-acts that he directed. His other NY productions include “A Checkered Past” and readings at the Public Theater as part of the series of New Czech Voices, produced by the Immigrants’ Theater Project. He is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab.
Mauricio Leyton, originally from Chile, is a graduate of the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts. He has appeared in “Life Could be un Sueno,” “El Super,” “Floating Home,” “Yerma,” “Apartment 3A,” “Sic Gloria Tantric” and “Una Reunion Familiar” (in Spanish) at the National Arts Club, “‘Twas Brillig” and “Who Made Robert de Niro King of America?” and in Terrance McNally’s “Corpus Christi” at the Fastlane Theatre in Asbury Park. He has appeared in the films “A letter to My Father,” directed by Dale Arroyo; “Burning Red,” directed by Julissa Carmona; “Speak Now,” directed by Greg Astor and “Modern Geisha,” directed by Robert Calderone.
Performances are March 5 to 29, 2009 at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (at E. 10th Street). The schedule is Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $15. The box office number is (212) 254-1109 and online ticketing is available at http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
There will be a special performance at TNC Wednesday, March 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm to benefit the Institute for Gay Men’s Health at GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis). Tickets for this performance are $30.