M is for…

TARRELL ALVIN McCRANEY


For those who are connoisseurs of the stage, Tarrell Alvin McCraney was someone you were hearing about in 2011. His hit trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays have been encapsulating audiences across the United States. Not too bad for a young brother from Miami.

Promotional Image for The Brother/Sister Plays at the Steppenwolf Theater.

After attending DePaul University for drama and Yale University for playwriting, his theatrical career started strong. His resume is beyond impressive, from his 2007 honor of the Whiting Writing Award and Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. In 2008 he received a 2 year honor as the International Writer in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company iin London. Then, in 2009 he was chosen as a Hodder fellow at Princeton University. In 2010 he became the 43rd ensemble member at the prestigious Steppenwolf Theater. McCraney’s acclaimed shows include: Without/Sin; Run Mourner, Run; and Wig Out!; and The Breach.  His shows have recieved many praises from audiences and critics alike and been performed internationally as well, showing that he spins stories that appeal to a diverse selection of people.

Scene from In the Red and Brown Water.

To date McCraney has seven shows under his belt, with more than one exploring themes of blackness and homosexual identity, drawing from his own life experience. He has been recognized as one of premiere out media leaders and even made Out 100, the list of major influences by the LGBT magazine. The young drama phenom has done a lot to represent the youthful generation and give them a reason to become theater patrons. This is something we at ABE whole heartily applaud and support. In this age of summer blockbusters, reality television, and YouTube video success, there is something special and authentic about stage performance.

Scene from Wig Out!

Early on in his career, McCraney has already been compared to some extremely influential playwrights, proving that that he has some big footsteps to follow. One being August Wilson, who was known for his many shows that depicted and chronicled aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th Century. The other is Tony Kushner, who was best known for the epic play turned mini-series Angels in America, telling the story of a group of gay men during the AIDS epidemic in NYC. Both of these well respected playwrights are most celebrated for their ability to capture the spirt and realism of a cultural group, something McCraney has thus far proven to be a natural at as well. Hopefully this bodes well for his future success! We look forward to more enticing scripts from his introspective brain.

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About Tya W.

Tya Winn: architect, urbanist, designer, cultural connoisseur, and the next great thing! View all posts by Tya W.

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