Support Marion McClinton

"I honestly don't know anyone more passionate than he is about the theater." - August Wilson

"Marion has been a favorite mentor for writers and directors because he understands the process from the inside."- Robert Blacker, Sundance Theater Lab

"It blew me away. I saw a director who was willing to try very bold things. Most directors don't trust themselves. Instead of coming up with a concept for the play, they would just duplicate Lloyd's production." - August Wilson, on Marion's direction of Piano Lesson

Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nominated, and Broadway legend, Marion McClinton, is in need. This appeal for medical financial support goes out to people who know, and have worked with Marion in multiple capacities over many decades.

Most recently concentrated in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, his journey stretches from regional theater in the United States to Broadway and London and includes multiple awards for his work. A close friend and associate of August Wilson, he directed many of his plays, regionally and on Broadway. An original member of Penumbra Theatre, where he first directed Piano Lesson, he also acted and wrote, playing the Narrator in August's first play, Black Bart and the Sacred Hills; Fielding in Jitney, and Gabriel in Piano Lesson. He directed the premiere of King Hedley II, and took it to Broadway, with a cast including Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Leslie Uggams, Charles Brown and Monte Russell. He also directed Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Drowning Crow on Broadway. In 2000, he won the Obie Awards for the direction of Jitney, and also the Vivian Robinson Audelco Black Theatre Awards. He was an associate artist at Center Stage, and has directed at numerous theaters across the country including the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizon, the Goodman Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Pittsburg Public Theater, the Children's Theater, Missouri Repetory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Jungle Theater and others. His plays include Police Boys, Walkers, Stones and Bones, and more.

Marion has been living and working on trice weekly dialysis for Polycystic Kidney Disease for more than fifteen years. In spite of multiple hospitalizations, he has continued to pursue his passion as an author and director of plays giving voice to the experience of people of color.  He was recently hospitalized due to complications. He is currently battling multiple illnesses, and has been in the hospital for the over two months. During this time, two dedicated young men, Matt and Orko, his former PCAs, who have continued to dedicate significant time to ensure that Marion receives comfort, compassion, body work and human connection in addition to hospital care. Once hospitalized there is no compensation for this care. It speaks to the quality of Marion’s relationships that they have wanted to stick with him. Bills are piling up as he no longer qualifies for insurance premium support in these settings. If Marion is to return home, he will need assistance 24 hours a day which is extremely expensive.

The life of an artist is often precarious and Marion’s ability to work has continued to diminish. In the past, somehow, he has risen from illness and even a hospital bed to engage with his passion. Marion has often said that these
feats are what has kept him going through difficult times.

With these new developments, it's become even more vital to ask that you open your hearts, and extend your hands with a contribution to support Marion through this difficult time. We are asking friends, family, mentees and colleagues to help us raise $50,000 to compensate Orco and Matt for their time, cover unpaid medical expenditures and, if possible, help bring Marion home. Many have given generously of their time to hold him up in the hospital and it is finally time to ask for financial support. We are also asking for those that are willing to volunteer to do hands on body work, or to keep him company.

Thank you for your love and support.

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Fundraising team: Team Marion (11)

E.G. Bailey
Minneapolis, MN
Marion McClinton
Ashawnti Ford
Team member
Janet Schmitt
Team member
Jean McClinton-Herther
Team member
Jesse Mandell-McClinton
Team member
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