Annie Baker and Taylor Mac (courtesy of the MacArthur Foundation)

Annie Baker and Taylor Mac Receive MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants

The two theatre artists are among the 24 recipients of the 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, which comes with $625,000.

CHICAGO: The MacArthur Foundation has announced its 2017 MacArthur Fellows, with 24 individuals in a variety of fields, including writers, scientists, and artists, colloquially known as the “genius” grants. Among the recipients were two theatre artists, playwright Annie Baker and writer/performer Taylor Mac. Each fellow receives a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000, to be awarded over five years.

Annie Baker is the author of such works as Circle Mirror TransformationThe Aliens, and John. Her play The Flick, about workers at a movie theatre, won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. She is currently a resident playwright at the Signature Theatre, and a master-artist-in-residence and co-associate chair in the M.F.A. in Playwriting Program at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Taylor Mac is a writer, director, actor, singer, and performance artist who uses the gender pronoun “judy.” Mac’s works include The Lily’s RevengeHir, and A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, co-created with Matt Rey, which is currently touring after being named a 2017 Pulitzer finalist. Mac is currently the resident playwright of HERE Arts Center.

Fellows are selected on the basis of three criteria: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. The fellows are chosen by an anonymous group of nominators from around the country; they cannot be self-nominated.

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