The Miami writer behind ‘Moonlight’ is coming home for a reading

New World alum Alana Arenas, who will play the role of Oya in ‘The Red and Brown Water,’ with Tarell Alvin McCraney.
New World alum Alana Arenas, who will play the role of Oya in ‘The Red and Brown Water,’ with Tarell Alvin McCraney.

The Miami writer behind “Moonlight” is coming home this weekend.

Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” was made into the Golden Globe-winning film “Moonlight,” returns to his alma mater on Saturday, when the New World School of the Arts hosts a reading of his award-winning “Brother/Sister” plays.

The event celebrates New World’s 30th anniversary and will be performed by New World alumni from all over the country, including the original cast of the Manhatan Theatre production of “Choir Boy”; Nic Ashe of OWN network’s “Queen Sugar”; and Alana Arenas, a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

McCraney, a 1999 graduate of New World, was named the new chairman of the playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama, in December. But he’s often drawn back to Miami: Last summer he taught the intensive Youth Artist Leadership Summer program for young women of color at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Liberty City.

He also appeared at opening-weekend screenings of “Moonlight,” which was directed by fellow Miamian Barry Jenkins and shot in Miami, at O Cinema Wynwood and Regal South Beach in October. The film won a Golden Globe for best picture (drama) on Sunday.

McCraney, a former MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient, has long felt the need to keep a tight connection with his roots because it fuels his storytelling.

“I want to be at the table with the smartest, most brilliant and most diverse people. I want to tell the best stories. I want to have the best perspectives. I’m not happy with just my voice,” McCraney told the Miami Herald last August. “What I can do is make a table and pull some chairs out. Not because I think anybody is less than or can’t do it themselves. I want to be a part of the conversation. The conversation isn’t full until everybody’s a part of it.”

If you go

What: Reading of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “The Brother/Sister Plays”

When: Saturday: 2 p.m., ‘In the Red and Brown Water’; 7 p.m., ‘The Brothers Size’ plus a scene from ‘Choir Boy’

Where: New World Dance Theater, 25 NE Second St., eighth floor, downtown Miami

Tickets: $30 general admission for one reading; $50 for both readings and meet and greet session with McCraney at 5:30 p.m.

Info: nwsa.mdc.edu