Playwrights Local Announces “The King of Cage Street” Opening April 24




New drama written and directed by award-winning Cleveland playwright Michael Oatman runs April 24 through May 9 at Waterloo Arts in Cleveland.

Cleveland, OH; February 26, 2020

Playwrights Local announces “The King of Cage Street,” a new urban drama written and directed by award-winning Cleveland playwright Michael Oatman. This regional premiere runs April 24 through May 9 at the Creative Space at Waterloo Arts in Cleveland. The production is presented by Playwrights Local, Northeast Ohio’s only theater devoted to locally written works. A full description can be found at

The new drama “The King of Cage Street” by Michael Oatman is, in a sense, a love story: a character study of three broken people against a backdrop of urban decay. These three dispirited souls — D-Bear, a reformed thug; Skully, an alcoholic handy man; and Dime, a transgendered sex worker — have created a space for themselves and their makeshift family. They have survived in the worst part of the worst ghetto in Ohio, thriving in what D-Bear calls “the end of the world.” This is where we find the trio when D-Bear receives news that a vicious enemy from his past has been released and is returning soon. As this showdown plays out, the fragile bonds that hold the trio together are strained to the point of rupture.

Playwright and director Michael Oatman is the former Playwright in Residence at Karamu House, the oldest African American theater in the country.  He is only the second person to hold this honor, with the first being Langston Hughes. He currently serves as a Stage and Screen mentor at University of Nebraska at Omaha and as an instructor at Kent State University. In 2011, he won the CPAC Workforce Fellowship; in 2010, he received the Cleveland Arts Prize for Best Emerging Artist and the Lantern Award for Best Play. In 2010, seven of his plays were produced: Black Nativity, War paint, Eclipse: The War Between Pac and B.I.G., Course of Action, My Africa, A Solitary Voice, Not a Uterus in Sight, and Hitler and Gandhi. He earned an English Degree from Cleveland State University in 2004 and completed his MFA in theater from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts consortium in 2008.

The cast of “The King of Cage Street” includes Kyle Carthens, Luka Blackhill, J’Vaughn Briscoe, James Boyd, and Levi Adams. Design for the production is by Inda Blatch­-Geib (costumes), L.J. Chandler (sound), Tara Codella (lights), Todd Plone (set), and Lisa L. Wiley (props). The staff includes L.J. Chandler (assistant director), Tom Hayes (carpenter), Lauren Sturdivant (stage manager), and David Todd (production manager). 

“The King of Cage Street”runs Friday, April 24 through Saturday, May 9, 2020, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. All shows will be at the Creative Space at Waterloo Arts (397 E. 156th Street, Cleveland, OH 44110). Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and groups, and $12 for students. Group packages can be arranged by contacting Playwrights Local at info@playwrightslocal.orgor (216) 302-8856. For complete information, visit

“The King of Cage Street” is presented thanks to the generous support of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, The Cyrus Eaton Foundation, and The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation. Additional funding for the company is provided by The AHS Foundation, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, Dramatists Guild Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, and The Ohio Arts Council, as well as private donors listed

About the Company

Playwrights Local is a theater company in Cleveland. As a playwrights’ center, our goal is to provide a home for dramatic writing in Northeast Ohio. We offer classes and workshops, produce original plays, provide networking opportunities, and engage the community through outreach projects. Learn more about programs such as our Young Playwrights Collective and our annual Open Call for Submissions at Make your tax-deductible contributions to our 501(c)(3) group at


Tom Hayes, Managing Director

Playwrights Local

(216) 302-8856 

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Playwrights Local 4181

Playwrights Local is a theater company based in North Collinwood. Our specialization is the development and production of new plays by writers from Greater Cleveland.

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