Thursday, April 18, 2024

Terrence McNally Foundation to support emerging playwrights, LGBTQ+ causes

The late out American playwright Terrence McNally will live on with a new foundation launched in his name.

McNally, a playwright, librettist, and screenwriter was the recipient of five Tony Awards and wrote numerous plays about gay themes or of issues concerning gay men, including Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Lisbon Traviata and Master Class. His career spanned six decades before coronavirus claimed the life of the theater icon in 2020 at the age of 81.

The website Deadline reports that McNally’s husband, Tom Kirdahy, Broadway producer and former civil rights attorney for not-for-profit AIDS organizations, has announced the creation of the Terrence McNally Foundation, “continuing the legendary playwright’s singular legacy of mentorship and activism.”

Terrence McNally

The Foundation, a nonprofit organization, will be committed to supporting “bold new voices in the American Theatre” by providing financial and institutional support to early-career playwrights.

In addition, the Terrence McNally Foundation is committed to supporting LGBTQ+ causes, as McNally did throughout his life and in his work, which examined the everyday lives, loves and likes of gay men, especially the centrality of culture to their lives—as well as the affect of AIDS and grief on the lives of young men. In 1990 McNally won an Emmy for writing the AIDS-themed drama Andre’s Mother for TV.

In 2019, McNally was named one of the Pride50 “trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people” by Queerty. McNally received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019.

For more about Terrence McNally, his archives are free and open to the public at the Harry Ransom Center in the University of Texas at Austin. Explore the digital collections here.

Queer Forty Staff

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