BLACK WHEN I WAS A BOY Premieres at Hollywood Fringe

BLACK WHEN I WAS A BOY Premieres at Hollywood Fringe

Black When I Was A Boy is an honest, moving and even humorous look at a complex, fascinating and powerful coming of age story. It's Cooper Bates' autobiographical recollection of the extraordinary inner life of his younger self - Frankie Bates, who grew up as the only Black child in a small Caucasian community in Kansas (population 1,500). He never saw himself as Black, until he was cast as Nigger Jim in the school production of Huckleberry Finn in 6th grade. Black When I Was A Boy opens June 2nd at Studio C - 6448 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 91206.

You'll hear how Frankie emerges from childhood and grows into a teenager in the 70's and 80's. While Frankie's friends explore and stretch their understanding of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Frankie is tasked with developing tools for survival until a life threatening encounter with a band of rednecks and a couple of heroic cowboys changes his life forever.


Saturday, June 2, 8:30 pm Preview

Saturday, June 9, 1:00 pm

Friday, June 15, 5:30 pm

Wednesday, June 20, 10:00 pm

Sunday, June 24, 3:00 pm

TICKETS: $15.00 -

Age appropriate 13+

WHERE: Studio C - 6448 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038

"Cooper's honesty as a writer is inspiring and breathtaking. As an actor, he's at total ease, with a seamless performance technique, and a fearlessness in terms of developing a character that is a master class in itself. Black When I Was A Boy is raw, riveting, brave, funny, smart, and universal in its theme and depiction of claiming one's own identity with pride and determination. See it--you'll be blown away." - Lisa Mulcahy

"A strikingly insightful and vibrant look into a poignant place and time by a gifted storyteller. I laughed and cried, and learned something about America, something about myself and something about growing up as a black boy. I will make time to see it again, and I recommended it wholeheartedly to anyone." - Curt Beckmann

Co-Director: Frankie Louise

Written and performed by Cooper Bates

Cooper Bates (Playwright & Performer ) was born in Kansas, but raised by the world. After a college stint on a wrestling scholarship, Bates settled in Dallas, Texas to study acting full time at Kim Dawson's Acting Conservatory. Before long, Bates was invited to Los Angeles by a casting director. When a motorcycle accident forced an hiatus from acting, Bates took the opportunity to visit Haiti as an educator. After returning to Los Angeles, Bates wrote and directed 15 short films, directed a dozen plays, and wrote nine screenplays. Ultimately, an acting partner approached Bates with an idea to trademark the name "Hint Mint" as a breath mint company and sell it to fund their artistic endeavors - a six month plan that turned into a 15 year odyssey. Black When I Was A Boy is a turn back to his passion.

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