The new honor was presented to its first recipient at New York City's Rainbow Room.
McCraney penned the recently acclaimed play The Brothers Size, which played as part of the Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival. His other plays include Without/Sin; Run, Mourner, Run and In The Red and Brown Water.
The annual honor is presented to "an emerging playwright of exceptional promise who will receive a cash prize, and a staged reading of their work at the Vineyard." The winner is chosen yearly by "a rotating committee comprised of members of Vineyard's artistic staff and of its resident community of artists."
"I can think of no better way to mark the Vineyard's anniversary than to honor Paula Vogel for her extraordinary contributions to the theatre by creating this award in her name. Paula's work has been an inspiration to all of us at the Vineyard — daring, deeply felt and important," stated Vineyard artistic director Douglas Aibel in a previous announcement.
The Vineyard first produced Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive Off-Broadway in 1997 as well as her recent work The Long Christmas Ride Home in 2003. Vogel stated about the new honor: "They say a person is judged by the company they keep, and I am so honored by my association with the Vineyard Theatre — they are a company I always want to keep. I am doubly honored: honored by having the award in my name from the Vineyard, and honored to be blessing a new generation of rising playwrights. The Vineyard fulfills the promise of its name: in planting the seeds of new plays, we as audiences reap the harvest."
Among Vogel's other works are The Baltimore Waltz, The Mineola Twins, The Oldest Profession and Hot N Throbbing.
The Vineyard is located at 108 East 15 St. For more information, visit www.vineyardtheatre.org.