The streets of Liberty City can be mean enough. Try navigating them while enduring the bullying that comes with the realization you are gay. Tarell Alvin McCraney survived the experience, and the world gained one of its most promising playwrights. Some lessons are hard. Those were the harder ones, McCraney says. It's easy to deal with any harsh Ivy League-educated writer telling you you have no talent when you've had 9-year-old neighbors calling you everything but a child of God and trying to smash your face in. It'd be easy to typecast McCraney's life and career after such a difficult opening scene. But rather than define him, his formative years have inspired him to write some of the most innovative plays and scripts the nation has seen over the past half-decade, including his brother/sister trilogy of plays. His work has already been staged in theater meccas around the world, from Seattle's Repertory Theatre to London's Young Vic. But his successes away from Miami have awakened his sense of home. I guess I am surprised at how much I love Miami, he says. This Friday, McCraney will give back to his alma mater, New World School of the Arts, with a fundraising event celebrating his 30th birthday. He will perform a staged reading at the Louise O. Gerrits Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30. Visit nwsa.mdc.edu.
Fri., Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., 2010