This is absolutely brilliant. The Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney has become one of the first winners of Yale University's new Windham Campbell Prize, reports the Yale Alumni Magazine. It's accompanied by a hefty cash tag.
Calling it "one of the largest literary prizes in the world," the university this morning announced nine writers who will receive $150,000 each "for outstanding achievement in fiction, nonfiction and drama." The prize, totaling $1.35 million this year, was established in 2011 and is named for the late author Donald Windham and his partner, Sandy M. Campbell. This year's winners will receive their prizes at Yale in September, in conjunction with a literary festival.
The 33-year-old McCraney, who is gay, has sometimes been described as the "heir" to August Wilson's legacy. McCraney is a Miami native and graduated from Yale '07 MFA. The wunderkind dramatist has had a very busy year, reports Miami's New Times.
The Miami native playwright kicked off 2013 with his own punched-up, truncated version of Hamlet, which opened at GableStage in January to favorable reviews (including ours). Next, he's working with London's Royal Shakespeare Company and the New York Public Theatre to produce another major production at GableStage in 2014.
McCraney's is best known for his acclaimed trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays. Other works include Wig Out!, American Trade and Choir Boy. The latter made its London debut in September 2012 and explores the competing roles of religion, Black cultural identity and sexual repression at a fictional African-American prep school.
Get it Tarell!