Miami 'Genius' Draws Connections Between Shakespeare, Liberty City

Sep 25, 2013

Miami-raised playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is one of this year’s MacArthur Fellows.

The fellowship, announced Wednesday, is better known as the “genius grant” and comes with a $625,000 prize. Past winners with Miami ties include writer Edwidge Danticat and poet Campbell McGrath.

McCraney’s award-winning plays draw on his experiences growing up in Liberty City. He’s an alumnus of the New World School of the Arts.

As part of a collaboration with GableStage, the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and New York's Public Theater, McCraney is currently working on an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra—set in 1700s revolutionary Haiti.

Last winter, McCraney spoke at the Knight Arts Challenge Ceremony about how violence in Liberty City gave context to his understanding of Hamlet: