Local playwright makes mark in Atlanta theater scene

Jireh Breon Holder’s new play, “Too Heavy for Your Pocket,” looks at the cost of the civil rights struggle in the lives of two couples. CONTRIBUTED BY ALLIANCE THEATRE

It’s been more than a year since Jiréh Breon Holder graduated from the Yale School of Drama and had one of his plays produced by the Tony-award winning Alliance Theatre. However, he still can’t fathom he’s a full-time writer.

“I can’t believe this is my life,” he exclaimed.

By 2016, he’d snagged his master of fine arts degree in playwrighting from one of the most prestigious universities in the country and landed a gig at Emory University.

And in February 2017, his play "Too Heavy For Your Pocket," which explores the lives of two black couples during the civil rights era, debuted in Atlanta at the Alliance Theatre before making it's way to New York, Chicago and San Diego.

Now he's headed to Los Angeles for the summer to join the writers' room for one of NBC's upcoming TV series, "New Amsterdam."

AJC reporter Najja Parker talks to the 27-year-old about his journey and how Atlanta has helped shaped him as a creative. Plus host Shane Harrison shares things to do in in the city during the next 10 days, including The Championship Tour featuring Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Schoolboy Q.