Friday, October 04, 2013

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Tarell Alvin McCraney: Black, Gay Genius!

Recently the MacArthur Foundation announced its latest roster of MacArthur Fellows, better known as the "genius grants" they are no-strings-attached $625,000 awards given directly to individuals "to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations."

At least two of this year's 2013 class of 24 winners are openly LGBT. Tarell Alvin McRaney, 32, is an award-winning playwright and Carrie Mae Weems, 60, is a well-known photographer. Here's a short description of this talented young gay Black man:
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. 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. 
His most well-known works, a triptych collectively titled The Brother/Sister Plays (2009), weave West African Yoruban cosmology into modern-day stories of familial self-sacrifice, unrequited love, and coming of age. The audience becomes an essential part of the story as the characters speak their stage directions and inner feelings directly to the viewers. In Head of Passes (2013) and Choir Boy (2012), McCraney draws on themes that run throughout the Book of Job and traditional spirituals, respectively, to explore the role of faith and tradition in two very different close-knit worlds. Head of Passes, set in the isolated marshlands of the Mississippi River Delta, dramatizes a matriarch’s struggle to maintain her faith as her world literally falls apart around her. In Choir Boy, students at an elite boarding school remain united in their dedication to performing traditional spirituals even as they navigate the fraught nature of adolescent self-expression.
It's nice to see the MacArthur Foundation recognize that "genius" comes in all different shapes, sizes and colors and is present in every community. Very psyched to see LGBT people of color recognized in this way!
Hat/tip to Rod 2.0

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin