The New York Times Company announced today that its first New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, a prize to honor an American playwright with a recent professional theater debut in New York City, will be awarded to Tarell Alvin McCraney for his play "The Brothers Size."
"The committee was impressed by the sheer poetry of the language and the play's vibrant blend of richly specific contemporary characters with archetypes drawn from West African myth," said Sylviane Gold, chair of the award selection committee and a frequent contributor to The New York Times.
"It is a great pleasure to present Tarell Alvin McCraney with the first New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher, The New York Times and chairman, The New York Times Company. "One of the greatest joys of living in New York City is the vibrancy of its theatrical community. In Mr. McCraney we recognize a singular talent whose wit and insight will, I'm sure, be heard on our stages for many years to come and I am proud that The New York Times Company has chosen to acknowledge him at the beginning of his career."
"It is an honor to be the first recipient of The Times Outstanding Playwright Award," said Mr. McCraney. "This prize makes me smile with my heart, and bends my mind towards the Most High."
In addition to Ms. Gold, the members of the selection committee were Tony Award-winning playwrights Edward Albee, Richard Greenberg and James Lapine, Lynn Nottage the recipient of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and, from The New York Times, cultural news editor Sam Sifton, theater editor Katherine E. Bouton and Arts & Leisure theater editor Andrea Stevens. The prize will be given on May 27 at a ceremony held at The New York Times Building in Manhattan.
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