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Tarell Alvin McCraney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tarell Alvin McCraney
McCraney in 2017
McCraney in 2017
Born (1980-10-17) October 17, 1980 (age 40)
Liberty City, Florida, U.S.
  • Playwright
  • actor
Notable awards

Tarell Alvin McCraney (born October 17, 1980) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He is the chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble.

He co-wrote the 2016 film Moonlight, based on his own play, for which he received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2019 film High Flying Bird and 2019 television series David Makes Man.

Early life and education

A reading at Elliott Bay Books, Seattle, Washington, co-presented with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, in association with Seattle Rep's staging of The Breach, a play based on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. At right, New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, author of 1 Dead in Attic. To his right are Tarell Alvin McCraney, Catherine Filloux, and Joe Sutton, co-authors of The Breach.
A reading at Elliott Bay Books, Seattle, Washington, co-presented with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, in association with Seattle Rep's staging of The Breach, a play based on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. At right, New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, author of 1 Dead in Attic. To his right are Tarell Alvin McCraney, Catherine Filloux, and Joe Sutton, co-authors of The Breach.

McCraney was born in Liberty City, Florida. He attended the New World School of the Arts (NWSA) in Miami, Florida. While attending NWSA, he also applied to and was awarded an honorable mention by the National YoungArts Foundation (1999, Theater). As a teenager, he was a member of an improv troupe directed by Ted Castellanos.[1]

He matriculated into The Theatre School at DePaul University and received his BFA in acting. In May 2007 he graduated from Yale School of Drama's playwriting program,[2] receiving the Cole Porter Playwriting Award upon graduation. He also is an Honorary Warwick University Graduate.


As an actor, he has worked with directors such as Tina Landau of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, Illinois, David Cromer, and B. J. Jones, artistic director of the Northlight Theatre (where McCraney co-starred in the Chicago premiere of Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange), and developed a working relationship with Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne of the Bouffes du Nord, Paris.[citation needed] He is a member of the D Projects Theater Company in Miami.[1]

While at Yale, McCraney wrote the Brother/Sister trilogy of plays, which are set in the Louisiana projects and explore Yoruba mythology.[1]

From 2008 to 2010, he was the RSC/Warwick International Playwright in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company.[3] In April 2010, McCraney became the 43rd member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble.[4] In July 2017, he became the chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama.[2][5]

In 2016, he co-wrote the screenplay for Moonlight with Barry Jenkins, based on his own play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. The film was critically acclaimed, and McCraney and Jenkins won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2019, he wrote the screenplay for the film High Flying Bird, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh and released by Netflix. He also wrote the screenplay for the television series David Makes Man, which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Personal life

McCraney is openly gay.[6]



The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy

  • The Brothers Size (simultaneously premiered in New York at The Public Theater, in association with the Foundry Theatre, and in London at the Young Vic, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement at an Affiliated Theatre)
  • In The Red and Brown Water (winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, produced at the Alliance Theatre and the Young Vic)
  • Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet

Other plays

  • Without/Sin
  • Run, Mourner, Run (adapted from Randall Kenan's short story), both of which premiered at Yale Cabaret. He directed Hamlet for the RSC's Young Shakespeare program for GableStage in Miami.

In the summer of 2006, McCraney, Catherine Filloux and Joe Sutton wrote The Breach, a play on Katrina, the Gulf, and our nation, commissioned by Southern Rep in New Orleans, where it premiered in August 2007 to mark the second anniversary of the tragedy in New Orleans. The Breach also played at Seattle Rep in the winter of 2007.

Other projects

Forthcoming projects

Commissions for the Donmar Warehouse and Berkeley Rep.[citation needed]

Awards and honors


  1. ^ a b c McNulty, Charles (2014-08-29). "Rising playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney takes his own, wary path to L.A." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  2. ^ a b Kalb, Peggy (2017). "From Yale, to Yale: Moonlight author joins drama school". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  3. ^ "Tarell Alvin McCraney". Warwick: The Capital Centre. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  4. ^ Steppenwolf Theatre Company (May 16, 2010). "Tarell Alvin McCraney - The 43rd Member of Steppenwolf's Ensemble". YouTube.
  5. ^ "Tarell Alvin McCraney". Yale School of Drama. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  6. ^ "Moonlight's Tarell Alvin McCraney: 'I never had a coming out moment'". The Guardian. October 21, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  7. ^ "Moonlight's Tarell Alvin McCraney on Why He Wrote a Movie About the NBA Lockout".
  8. ^ Allen, Dan. "Tarell Alvin McCraney: The Man Who Lived 'Moonlight'". NBC Out. NBC. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  9. ^ Dickson, Andrew, (November 15, 2013), "Antony and Cleopatra – review", The Guardian. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "About Tarell Alvin McCraney". The Brother/Sister Plays. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Baker, Dorie (March 4, 2013). "Yale awards $1.35 million to nine writers". YaleNews. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  12. ^ Dolen, Christine, "Miami playwright McCraney wins $625,000 MacArthur Fellowship", Miami Herald, September 25, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  13. ^ "Tarell McCraney". MacArthur Foundation. 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "40 Under 40: The Class of 2019." (Connecticut Magazine) (January 23, 2019) Retrieved March 5, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 September 2021, at 02:40
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