Karamu playwright in residence Michael Oatman got some ink in the New York Times last weekend (Sunday, April 11), as writer Erik Piepenburg featured Karamu’s production of his Eclipse: The War Between Pac and B.I.G. Piepenburg highlighted the degree to which writers have dramatized the life and death of the legendary rapper, keeping his memory alive. Piepenburg says at least three plays about Shakur have been produced in the US in the last 10 years, and calls them “labors of love by unknown authors.”


Thanks to Piepenburg, Oatman is just a little less unknown now than he was last week.

There’s no shortage of drama in Shakur’s life, of course, and Oatman mined it, focusing on the east coast / west coast rivalry between him and rival rapper Notorious BIG. As the journalist quotes the playwright:

“Tupac is a very Shakespearean character,” said the “Eclipse” playwright, Michael Oatman, of Cleveland. “He is loaded with contradictions. He’ll be talking about ‘bitches and hos’ one minute then give you a song that has a crushing sensitivity. He lends himself to theatricality.”

Check out the whole story:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.