Liberty City Playwright Wins Second Big Award of the Year

Tarell Alvin McCraney, 29, a Liberty City-born-and-raised playwright and graduate of the New World School of the Arts, today won his second big award of the year: the second annual Steinberg Playwright Award.

Established in 2008 to support emerging playwrights at various stages of their careers, the Steinberg carries serious prestige as well as cash. Last year, when Tony Kushner took home the inaugural award, he also pocketed $200,000. This year, amid concerns that Kushner was too established an artist to win an "emerging" award, the panel split the prize into three, and McCraney was honored alongside Bruce Norris, 49, and David Adjmi, 36.

McCraney this year also won the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award  and is currently the Royal Shakespeare Company's playwright in residence. Asked what he plans to do with his $25,000 (Norris, the most senior, took home $50,000), McCraney said, according to the New York Times, "I'm probably going to pay off my student loans."

In addition to graduating from New World, McCraney was also trained by the Miami Light Project (specifically the D-Projects program run by Teo Castellano) and Katie Christie's Voices United, two programs seriously threatened by the proposed county budget cuts being discussed this evening.

So congrats, Tarell. You might be the last playwright Miami ever produces.

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P. Scott Cunningham