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2023-24 Season

It Happened In Atlanta

Written By: Michael Oatman | Directed by: Tony F. Sias



Dyrell Barnett | Allen

Brandi Gipson | Dava

Darelle Hill | Trajan

Sydney Smith | Reven


About It Happened In Atlanta

It’s been approximately 14 years since I last directed a play by my brother and friend Michael Oatman.  In It Happened in Atlanta by Michael Oatman, we get to explore the different ways that “Black Love” tries to find its way in the world. Through these characters’ relationships we get to reminisce about the wild risks we took in our youth and the ways those choices ripple into our maturity. On TV and social media, we see so many examples of what “Black Love” can look like, but rarely do we get to see the real depth of what can happen behind closed doors. Sometimes, the fights are as nasty as they are because the love is as deep as it is. It takes work, commitment, and stamina to decide to stay in the fight for Black love, whether that be romantic love, platonic love, or familial love.  Oatman’s script allows us to journey through these choices and have fun along the way.

Read the Review


Michael Oatman is a former playwright-in-residence at Karamu House. He is only the second person to hold this honor in the storied history of Karamu, the first being Langston Hughes.  He has served as a playwriting mentor at the University of Nebraska and also is a playwriting/script analysis instructor at Kent State University.  In 2011, he won the CPAC Workforce Fellowship and the Cleveland Art Prize in 2010 for Best Emerging Artist and the 2010 Lantern Award for Best Play.  In 2011, three of his full length plays where produced: Breaking the Chains, You Got Nerve and Sometime Hope Is Enough.  In 2010, seven of his plays were produced in various venues:  Black Nativity (Adaption), War Paint, Eclipse: The War Between Pac and B.I.G., Course of Action, My Africa, A Solitary Voice, Not a Uterus in Sight, Hitler and Gandhi.  He earned an English Degree from Cleveland State University in 2004 and completed his MFA in theater, from the Northeastern Ohio Master of Fine arts Consortium (Cleveland State, Akron University, Youngstown University and Kent State) in 2008. 


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