Sunday, November 15, 2009

Young Playwright digs up divinity out of the Bayou

In today's
New York Times, an article on perhaps the hottest young playwright in America, Tarrell Alvin McCraney, author of the acclaimed trilogy "Brother/Sister Plays."

Read an excerpt below // Full article here

TARELL ALVIN McCRANEY enters. Miami, 1980s. He is a boy growing up in the Liberty City housing projects, among the nation’s worst. He stays with his father and grandparents on some nights. They feed him peanut butter and jelly, and he is content. They are devout Baptists and fill up the boy with God’s stories, and he is content.

On other nights the boy stays with his mother. She is a crack addict with an abusive lover, with unpaid bills. Now and then the electricity is cut off. Now and then the boy is picked on by other boys for being gentle, shy, quiet. Still the boy is content; he loves his mother. She moves them to another project to give the boy a fresh start. Three years later a hurricane named Andrew hits their home, destroys everything. They return to Liberty City. The mother checks herself into rehab. Some years later, when the boy is a man of 23 and his mother is 40, she dies of an AIDS-related illness.

This is Mr. McCraney’s own story, and this is the kind of language — terse and unsentimental — that has helped make him a playwright of uncommon acclaim.

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