Influential Twin Cities theater director Marion McClinton passes away at age 65

Director Marion McClinton speaks during The Boston Globe's interview with the cast of August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean," which is in rehearsal at the Huntington Theatre Company. (Evan Richman/The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

Marion McClinton, an award-winning director and playwright in the Twin Cities whose work had a tremendous impact on African-American theater, passed away Thursday at the age of 65.

In a post honoring McClinton, the Playwrights' Center wrote: "He was hugely important to the Playwrights’ Center, one of only seven artists in the Center’s close to fifty-year history to receive lifetime support as a legacy Core Writer. 'Legacy' is an apt term when talking about Marion, whose impact on the American and Twin Cities theater landscape is immeasurable."

During his decades-long career in theater, McClinton directed award-winning Broadway and off-Broadway productions of work created by his long-time friend August Wilson. He was also a key early member of St. Paul's Penumbra Theatre that continues to be an important piece of black performing arts in the Twin Cities.

"Generations and generations from now, there will be people making theater who are doing so because of Marion, because of how generously and passionately Marion created," added the Playwright Center.