McCraney & Power Featured In Publications The Advocate And American Theatre

Tarell Alvin McCraney and Will Power, two award-winning playwrights with longstanding relationships with McCarter Theatre Center, have both received national attention for their contributions to the American theatrical culture. The Advocate has selected McCraney for its special "Forty Under 40" issue, while Power is featured in American Theatre magazine's 25th Anniversary issue.

The Advocate is a national gay and lesbian newsmagazine and the oldest continuing gay publication in the United States. American Theatre is the national monthly magazine for the American professional not-for-profit theatre. The issues of both magazines featuring McCraney and Power are on newsstands now.

Red-hot playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays is currently receiving its world premiere at McCarter, is featured in The Advocate's "Forty Under 40" issue, which profiles 40 accomplished gay men and women under the age of 40. (The issue also coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the infamous Stonewall riots in New York, which are viewed by many as one of the primary catalysts of the gay rights movement.) McCraney is featured alongside Dustin Lance Black, the Milk screenwriter who accepted the Best Screenplay Academy Award last February with an impassioned speech about acceptance and equal rights for gays and lesbians. Of the magazine's selections, Advocate Editor-in-Chief Jon Barrett writes: "The 39 other people on our Forty Under 40 list don't have Black's platform (not yet, anyway), but they're conveying the same message every day."

Of McCraney, the article states: "[his] ‘it boy' status in the international theater establishment belies his interest in the stories of those at the margins-particularly where the LGBT and black worlds intersect, sometimes violently." The piece also mentions The Brother/Sister Plays as a representative sample of his innovative and compelling works. McCraney heads up a list of seven out Arts Professionals featured in the article; the other categories highlighted include Activism, Business, Entertainment, Media, Politics, and Sports.

A May 2007 graduate of Yale School of Drama, 28-year-old Tarell Alvin McCraney is a playwright whose exquisite and groundbreaking work has put his career on an extraordinary trajectory. Already, productions of his plays have been mounted in New York, London, D.C., Atlanta, Seattle, Dublin, Barcelona, and New Orleans, as well as at McCarter's IN-Festival of New Works. In addition to The Brother/Sister Plays, his other plays include the Hurricane Katrina-themed The Breach and Wig Out!, which recently completed a highly successful run at New York's Vineyard Theatre. A Princeton University Hodder Fellow, McCraney has been honored with the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Whiting Writing Award, and London's prestigious Evening Standard Award, and he was recently named the International Writer in Residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Brother/Sister Plays premiered at McCarter Theatre Center on April 24, 2009, as the final show of the theater's 2008-2009 Season. Part 1 of the trilogy, In the Red and Brown Water, is directed by Tina Landau; Part 2, comprised of The Brothers Size and Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, is directed by Robert O'Hara. Both parts of the trilogy can be seen on the McCarter stage from now until June 21, after which they will travel to New York's The Public Theater for an off-Broadway run.

In addition to McCraney, award-winning playwright and performer Will Power is also receiving recognition from a national publication. Power, whose latest play Fetch Clay, Make Man will receive its world premiere at McCarter in January 2010, is spotlighted in American Theatre magazine's 25th Anniversary Issue. In its cover story entitled "AT25: An Eye on the Future," American Theatre discusses "the American theatre's next 25 years, as envisioned by the forward-thinking artists who will accompany us there". The piece asks 25 directors, performers, designers, writers, dramaturgs, producers, and curators of new works the question: "What do you imagine might happen in the American theatre over the course of the next quarter-century?"

According to the article, the commentators selected "have demonstrated something special in their approach to the art and craft of theatremaking that convinced us they have not only vision and foresight about the field they've chosen, but the tenacity and commitment it will take to realize their aspirations over time." Power is featured alongside such theatrical luminaries as playwright Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House); recent Tony Award-nominated director Diane Paulus (the current Broadway production of Hair); monologist and playwright Mike Daisey (How Theater Failed America); and Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change).

Will Power is an award-winning playwright, performer, rapper, and educator, hailed as "the best verse playwright in America" by New York Magazine. Viewed as a pioneer in Hip-Hop Theater, Power often fuses original music, rhymed language, and dynamic choreography in his works, and his adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, re-titled The Seven, enjoyed a successful off-Broadway run at the New York Theater Workshop. He has also appeared in the 1999 independent film Drylongso and the PBS documentary All Fathers Are Sons (PBS), as well as on The Colbert Report, Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason, and Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam. Power has received the prestigious 2008 USA Prudential Fellowship, the first annual TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Joyce Award, an NYFA Fellowship, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and a Drama Desk nomination.

Power's latest play, Fetch Clay, Make Man, will receive its world premiere at McCarter in the 2009-2010. In the days before one of the most controversial fights in boxing history, 23-year-old heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali formed an improbable bond with disgraced former Hollywood star Stepin Fetchit. Set in the heady times of the mid-1960s, after years of struggle and a series of Civil Rights victories, the absorbing drama tells the true story of two wildly different men, each struggling to create and shape his image and legacy. A rhythmic, expressive, and innovative exploration of one of the missing pages in America's history book, Fetch Clay, Make Man will run at McCarter from January 8-February 14, 2010.

For tickets to The Brother/Sister Plays at McCarter Theatre, or to subscribe to the 2009-2010 Theater Season, call 609-258-2787, visit www.mccarter.org, or come to the McCarter Ticket Office at 91 University Place, Princeton.



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