The award is given to an established theatre professional who is associated with the Guthrie.
The recipient is provided the opportunity to benefit personally and professionally from the experience of spending two weeks at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre on the estate of Annaghmakerrig, Guthrie’s ancestral home in Ireland. The Centre is described as "a residential retreat for artists from around the globe, offering time and space in which to research, create or develop work."
“Tarell McCraney is a remarkable playwright, whose work has resonated with audiences around the country and internationally,” stated Dowling. “I am very happy that he will spend time at Tyrone Guthrie’s ancestral home at Annaghmakerrig as the 2015 Joe Dowling Fellow.”
Through productions by Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company, the Guthrie has presented McCraney’s critically acclaimed trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays, under the direction of Marion McClinton, in its Dowling Studio: In the Red and Brown Water in the 2010-11 season, The Brothers Size in the 2012-13 season, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet in the 2014-15 season.
The Guthrie will produce McCraney’s Choir Boy, directed by Peter Rothstein, in the Dowling Studio, June 16-July 5, 2015. McCraney described his first meeting with Dowling as such: “We spent about an hour, sipping coffee now made cold from our excited conversations on: how we loved Shakespeare, how he infuriated us; how we loved O’Neill and Miller and Williams and… We talked about having highs and lows, critical successes and artistic failures. There was no reason a man of his esteem had to speak to a relative kid with such openness, humility and generosity but that is what makes Joe Dowling great.”
McCraney continued, “I was honored to hear I was receiving a residency in his name, and was sad to hear that I couldn’t share the news with dear [late Guthrie Company Development Director] Ken Washington but I know he would want me to accept and keep the mission of bringing theater’s light to those who wish to see.”
The Joe Dowling Annaghmakerrig Fellowship Award, according to press notes, "was created by Guthrie staff and members of the community who shared the desire to honor Joe Dowling and recognize the deep roots and historical artistic connections between Minnesota and Ireland. The award also serves to maintain the memory of Sir Tyrone Guthrie and his extraordinary vision for both the Guthrie Theater and for the Tyrone Guthrie Centre."
Previous recipients include playwright and U of M/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program graduate Matthew Amendt and playwright Carson Kreitzer.