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Steppenwolf Playwright Wins Genius Grant

By Paul Biasco | September 25, 2013 8:49am | Updated on September 25, 2013 8:54am
 Tarell Alvin McCraney was named as one of the 24 recipients of the grant.
Tarell Alvin McCraney was named as one of the 24 recipients of the grant.
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McCarter Theatre

LINCOLN PARK — Steppenwolf Theater Company ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney has been named as one of 24 recipients of a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, more commonly known as a "genius grant."

McCraney, a 32-year-old actor, director and playwright is best known for his trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays, according to New Dramatists.

The $625,000 fellowship is a five year grant with no strings attached.

McCraney was the youngest recipient in this year's fellowship class.

McCraney, a 2003 graduate of DePaul University's Theatre School, has been an ensemble member at Steppenwolf since 2010.

"Tarell Alvin McCraney is a playwright exploring the rich diversity of the African-American experience in works that imbue the lives of ordinary people with epic significance," the MacArthur Foundation wrote. "Complementing his poetic, intimate language with a musical sensibility and rhythmic, often ritualistic movement, McCraney transforms intentionally minimalist stages into worlds marked by metaphor and imagery."

McCraney, who works as an independent writer, told the Tribune the money will allow him to focus.

"It won’t make sense to me until other people know. But I am thinking this will be, for me, focus money. It will allow me to focus, instead of trying to do so many projects at once," McCraney said, according to the Tribune.

A full list of recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship is available on the foundation's website.