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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.”

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