Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney has been called the next August Wilson. Maybe that can be partially attributed to the fact that there are so few prominent African American playwrights, but there’s still no doubt he is carrying an important mantle.
At age 33, he’s already had plays debut at the Royal Court London, New York’s Vineyard Theatre, the Young Vic, and Steppenwolf Theatre, where he is an artist in residence. In March, he received the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize.
We spoke to McCraney this week about his career, and how and why he writes about black gay life. He told us the real-life roots of some of his most famous works, and about working as August Wilson’s assistant at Yale (including an unforgettable story about buying Wilson an iPod).
In our Juicy Fruit segment this week, we had lots of news to cover: The #solidarityisforwhitewomen and #blackpowerisforblackmen hashtags, “straight” men who sleep with men, Oprah’s experience of racism in Sweden, black ESPN colleagues calling each other racial slurs, and more.