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Black When I Was A Boy

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

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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
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
RHONDA REDMAN certified reviewer July 03, 2018
Plenty of stories to share with those of us that haven't grown up as a young black boy in a white world...so touching and yet hilarious...Cooper has shared his experiences in such a heartfelt way that you can't help but want to see it again and have as many friends as possible see it!!! ... full review
JEAN MINUCHIN certified reviewer June 25, 2018
Cooper Bates embodies young and old, black and white, male and female. These skillful acting transitions are in service of his story about growing up in a predominantly white community and navigating shame and isolation into a place of connection and self-pride. Besides the skillful acting and engaging storytelling, the thing that stays with me is his realization that by being oneself, real changes can be made with those around you. Especially because in the current reactionary American climate I tend to get fed up quickly with people who are "conservatives". Perhaps a less quick trigger and communication effects greater change than rage over prejudice and strong difference.... full review
SUSY PORTER certified reviewer June 25, 2018
tagged as: funny · exciting · honest · memoir · Touching! Sincere!
This show is well produced, well written, well acted and profoundly poignant. The pacing of the storytelling combined with the dramatizations of the events touched me. I felt like I was there with the character and I was deeply moved. Bravo and thank you for sharing your unique perspective. Your message reveals the pain of racism while giving us the message that there is hope and the potential for goodness, love and connection in all of us. Thank you! I recommend this show for every adult human. It is a heart, mind, eye opener! It is also funny and very entertaining as well! You'll have great time, I promise!... full review
ANONYMOUS certified reviewer June 25, 2018
A truly AMAZING one-man-show weaving history, life, and dozens of characters together into a seamless tapestry of one man’s journey through discovery, hurt, truth, joy, fear, and - ultimately - victory of a most profound nature. Cooper Bates opened to us his soul, and invited us to journey with him into the future by way of his often painful past - thanks for the ride Cooper!!... full review
ANONYMOUS certified reviewer June 24, 2018
I was so moved by Cooper Bates story and how beautifully he shared his story during the incredible one-man show, Black When I Was a Boy. Cooper Bates has done the hard work of making meaning of his suffering and turning it into art that touches others. The feelings I had while watching Black When I Was a Boy ranged from sadness to laughter. Cooper Bates' talent was apparent when watching him play the many different characters that impacted him during his childhood. He channeled his 6th grade teacher so beautifully and a few minutes later, created an opportunity for the audience to see the nuances in interactions with a peer that made room for the audience to see beyond the flaws in this particular peer. I highly recommend seeing Black When ... full review
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
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
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