Black When I Was A Boy

solo performance · seeker · Ages 12+ · one person show · 70 mins · United States of America

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HARLEY CROSS · June 09, 2018
tagged as: knock out · funny
Two thumbs up! It's so rare to see a show that is both funny and profound. Cooper's story is unique - you'll never see anything else like it.... full review

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LARRY LUCK certified reviewer · June 03, 2018
Outstanding performance by a great story teller. Cooper Bates will forever impact how you see other people in this world. You will learn that even from a very young age, your actions and words can make a very lasting impression on many people. His performance engages the audience from the start and keeps you connected to his story through out the entire performance.... full review

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VICTORIA C · June 04, 2018
tagged as: History · America · racism · must see!
Cooper Bates gives an honest and brilliant performance as his younger self navigating the audience through his personal experience with racism in small town America. ... full review

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BOB ATTIYEH certified reviewer · June 21, 2018
Cooper Bates combines writing and acting skill with an engaging personal narrative that encompasses growing up in the 60s, race relations, adolescence, small-town America and a great deal of humor. Bates doesn't skirt the big issues and his performance is direct and effective. Superb. See this show while it is still playing. ... full review

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NICOLE LEMOINE certified reviewer · June 16, 2018
tagged as: black · coming of age · racism
Cooper Bates held my attention and had me interested in hearing any and all of the stories he had to tell. Based on his experience growing up the only black boy in Hill City, Kansas, in the 70s, he will take you on a ride through the pain and triumphs of his life and how that shapes him to this very day. Gripping and raw. The hour flew by.... full review

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ANONYMOUS certified reviewer · June 24, 2018
Cooper Bates was brilliant and had me thoroughly riveted. His life stories were poignant and heartbreaking, while managing to weave in a good dose of humor. All and all a fantastic show! ... full review

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JESSICA HORWITZ · June 24, 2018
Black When I Was A Boy was hands down one of the best performances that I have ever seen. I had never seen a one-man show before, so I had no clue what to expect. I wondered if it would get a little boring watching only one person on stage for the entirety of the performance. However, what I soon realized was that Cooper Bates could somehow turn himself into different characters within seconds. He used no props to change his appearance, however his voices, movements and acting completely transformed him into the people from his childhood. Black When I Was A Boy was a rollercoaster of emotions. Cooper Bates's integration of hilarious moments and devastating stories left me crying and laughing at the same time. There were so many powerful mo... full review

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JENNIFER CASPAR certified reviewer · June 24, 2018
Black When I Was A Boy was so entertaining from start to finish. It was a funny and poignant telling of the key moments that defined Cooper Bates’s self perception. It is a telling of modern American history that powerfully conveys the impact of a racist community whose impact was felt both quietly and violently. ... full review

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KELVIN GARVANNE · June 24, 2018
An intelligent, provocative, high energy performance that channeled Spalding Gray and Richard Pryor. Cooper used his personal story to articulate the inner truth shared by many Black men of a certain age. Cooper’s world was not always nurturing but his humor, irony, patience and poise were skillfully used to navigate him through the minefields of racial prejudice. Definitely while growing up and surely still now. Well done! - Kelvin Garvanne... full review

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MAXWELL GAIL JR certified reviewer · June 24, 2018
Full disclosure: Cooper Bates is a friend of mine so I am aware of his talent and thoughtful response to life. Also, I read several rave reviews of his performance and one man play, “Black When I Was a Boy.” Still, I was not prepared for the beautiful ride on which he took my son and I, along with the rest of the audience. Starting with a simple and authentic hello and launching into his personal story, soon the space was populated with indelible characters of all races, ages, perspectives. Conversations came alive with moments of touching and tear up memories and reflections...and laughs, many held in balance with the poignancy of the story, and others bursting forth uncontrollably with recognition and joy. Young athletes and old women, sch... full review

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