‘David Makes Man,’ drama series from Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, coming to OWN

“David Makes Man” is the first drama series from Tarell Alvin McCraney, the openly gay, Academy Award winning co-writer of the semi-autobiographical Moonlight,” which also won the best picture Oscar.

The series, which also was inspired by events in McCraney’s life, explores childhood trauma and the power of imagination.


“David Makes Man,” one of this year’s most anticipated series, will debut this summer on OWN. The first teaser trailer was released at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

“When we looked at the spectrum of life, we wanted to show it as true as it is today, as it was then,” McCraney said during a panel discussion after the trailer screening. “There’s a lexicon of things in our (African American community) that need to be seen and talked about.”

David Makes Man Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney, the openly gay, Academy Award winning writer of the semi-autobiographical “Moonlight,” has written his first drama series, “David Makes Man.” Photo: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Michael B. Jordan, one of the executive producers, showrunner/executive producer Dee Harris-Lawrence, and cast members Akili McDowell, Alana Arenas, and Phylicia Rashad also participated in the panel.

In “David Makes Man,” David is a 14-year-old prodigy from a state run housing project in South Florida who is haunted by the death of his best friend and eager to find a way out of poverty. David must choose between the streets that raised him and higher education that could offer him a way out.

Billy Strayhorn, jazz pioneer & Duke Ellington protégé, finally gets the spotlight in ‘Halfway to Dawn’

McCraney is the chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and a 2013 MacArthur Fellow.


“Moonlight” was based on McCraney’s script “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.”

Director Barry Jenkins co-wrote the “Moonlight” script with McCraney and shared the Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

Phillip Zonkel cab be reached at 562-294-5996 or at [email protected].

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!