‘Moonlight’, ‘Choir Boy’ Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney Named Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director

Moonlight and Choir Boy writer Tarell Alvin McCraney has been named artistic director for Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse, the non-profit theater’s Board of Directors announced today.

Effective immediately, McCraney joins the Geffen staff to begin building the 2024-2025 season. He’ll report to the theater’s Board of Directors.

McCraney shared a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar with director Barry Jenkins for the 2016 film Moonlight, and was Tony-nominated for the 2018 Broadway production of Choir Boy, his play that had been staged at the Geffen in 2014.

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In a statement, McCraney said, “I see my role as continuing a legacy of exceptional artistry, reinvesting in the Geffen’s unique capability to nurture and support artists, build upon collaborative partnerships including with UCLA, and reach audiences that we share a community with across Los Angeles. I am excited to foster intimate innovation in performance, digging deep into our collective need for live connection here at Geffen Playhouse.”

In his new role, McCraney will program new works along with re-envisioned classics. He will set the strategic artistic course for the Geffen’s Gil Cates and Audrey Skirball Kenis Theaters, as well as lead the artistic and production teams.

“I am delighted to welcome and partner with Tarell,” said Geffen Playhouse Executive Director/CEO Cates. “From Choir Boy to the Cast Iron residency, and now as our new artistic director, Tarell has come full circle with the Geffen and we couldn’t be more excited.” Cates called McCraney “an exceptional artist and storyteller, and a true visionary with extraordinary ideas for where we can go as a theater, as a home for artists and as part of the cultural landscape in Los Angeles.”

In addition to the 2014 West Coast premiere production of Choir Boy, McCraney’s official relationship with Geffen Playhouse continued when, in 2020, he was part of the new Geffen Playhouse artist residency announced with Cast Iron Entertainment, a cohort of artists also including Sterling K. Brown, Glenn Davis, Brian Tyree Henry, Jon Michael Hill and André Holland.

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