McCraney is the author of the critically acclaimed The Brother/Sister Plays, currently playing at Steppenwolf through May 23. As a playwright, he has collaborated with Steppenwolf ensemble member Tina Landau on seven productions and readings nationally. He also appeared on stage at Steppenwolf in Landau's 2004 production of Theatrical Essays. Additionally, McCraney was recently commissioned by Steppenwolf, through support from the Joyce Foundation Awards, to write a new play for the Steppenwolf ensemble based on the biblical book of Job. His current commissions include Choir Boy for Manhattan Theatre Club and Again & Again for Berkley Rep.
The Steppenwolf ensemble, the longest-existing theatre ensemble in the U.S., now totals 43 members.
Steppenwolf artistic director Martha Lavey said in a statement, "We gain not only a brilliant playwright but an outstanding actor. Having Tarell's Brother/Sister Plays on our stage is a joy — we look forward to our many years of work together."
McCraney's plays include The Brother/Sister Plays: The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet; The Breach; Wig Out!; Without/Sin; Run Mourner, Run; A Taurian Tale and more.
McCraney was born and raised in Liberty City, the inner city area of Miami, FL. He graduated from the New World School of the Arts High School, with the Exemplary Artist Award and the Dean's Award in Theater in 1999, matriculated into the Theater School at DePaul University in Chicago graduating with the Sarah Siddons Award and a BFA in Acting 2003. He attended the British American Drama Academy (BADA) Mid-Summer at Oxford, studying Shakespeare with master actors and teachers from the Royal Shakespeare Company and around the U.K. He earned an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama in 2007; he received the Cole Porter Award upon graduating. McCraney was honored with the 2007 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award from the Vineyard Theater and a 2007 Whiting Writing Award.
The 43-member Steppenwolf ensemble includes Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Alana Arenas, Randall Arney, Kate Arrington, Ian Barford, Robert Breuler, Gary Cole, Kathryn Erbe, K. Todd Freeman, Frank Galati, Francis Guinan, Moira Harris, Jon Michael Hill, Tim Hopper, Tom Irwin, Ora Jones, Terry Kinney, Tina Landau, Martha Lavey, Tracy Letts, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Mariann Mayberry, Tarell Alvin McCraney, James Vincent Meredith, Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, Jeff Perry, William Petersen, Yasen Peyankov, Martha Plimpton, Rondi Reed, Molly Regan, Anna D. Shapiro, Eric Simonson, Gary Sinise, Lois Smith, Rick Snyder, Jim True-Frost and Alan Wilder.