Robert O'Hara

American playwright and theatre director

Robert O’Hara (born 1970) is an African American playwright and director.

Robert O'Hara in 2014


  • I did, not only because of that, but also because there was no value placed on education in my family. My mother just assumed I was smart, and I had glasses so I was called “four eyes,” and I was always reading a book, and so the outsider feeling came from the fact that I really loved school…
  • Both of them come from birth. I was born black and gay. I was not socialized to be gay. I always knew I was different; I was always interested in something that a lot of kids were not into…
  • …White people playing people of color is not new; what is new is people of color are now [able to] own their own authenticity. White theater was created to reflect their audiences and white theater must deal with [changing audiences and perceptions]. … I think it’s about what the story requires, and what happens when you cast someone who could not be believable and who could not tell that story…
  • Sometimes you feel where it was trying to go down. There’s a residue feeling and so it lasts a little bit longer. Even after you stop choking, you still feel it inside your throat. There’s something about theatre where I want to not be able to get up, walk out and go: ‘Oh, that was nice,’ but really have to engage with it as I go home and think about it and work over what I felt about it. That’s the type of theatre I like.”
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