Copeland's Heartwarming THE JEWELRY BOX Announced At The Marsh, December 15- 23

Written by Copeland and directed by David Ford, this hilariously heartwarming story is a prequel to Copeland's hit solo show Not a Genuine Black Man.

By: Nov. 28, 2023
Copeland's Heartwarming THE JEWELRY BOX Announced At The Marsh, December 15- 23

Award-winning playwright and actor Brian Copeland's family-friendly holiday show The Jewelry Box will return for two special performances at The Marsh this December.

Written by Copeland and directed by David Ford, this hilariously heartwarming story, a prequel to Copeland's hit solo show Not a Genuine Black Man, follows a young Brian as he heads to the “mean streets” of Oakland to buy his mom a Christmas present.

When he finds the perfect gift – a jewelry box in the White Front store – six-year-old Brian sets out to earn the required $11.97 by Christmas. Rife with references to 1970s Oakland, The Jewelry Box follows Brian's adventures as he scours the “help wanted” ads, applies for jobs, and collects bottles, inching his way toward the perfect Christmas gift.

The Jewelry Box will play at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley, Friday, December 15 at 7pm and The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia Street, San Francisco, Saturday, December 23 at 5pm. For information or to order tickets ($25-$35 sliding scale, $50 and $100 reserved), the public may visit

After making its world premiere in 2013, the show was an instant success, selling out shows and proving popular with audiences and critics alike for many years. It was declared “destined to be a holiday classic” by The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the show “glitters with bright comedy” while Theatrius hailed the solo show as “an instant classic, an American ‘Christmas Carol' that celebrates the lives of three women who loved the child.”  The Jewelry Box: A Memoir of Christmas, a book based on the play, was published in 2015. 

Brian Copeland (Writer/Performer) has been in show business since he first stepped on the comedy stage at age 18. Soon, he was headlining clubs and concerts across the country and opening for such artists as Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Ringo Starr, and Aretha Franklin, in venues from The Universal Amphitheater to Constitution Hall in Washington DC. Copeland then branched off into television, appearing on comedy programs on NBC, A&E and MTV. Copeland was recently seen on the big screen in the SMASH Marvel film, Venom: Let There Be Carnage. He spent five years as co-host of San Francisco FOX affiliate KTVU breakfast program Mornings on 2 and two years hosting San Francisco ABC affiliate KGO's Emmy Award-winning afternoon talk show 7Live. His first network special, Now Brian Copeland, premiered on NBC after Saturday Night Live for West Coast audiences in January 2015. In 1995, KGO Radio premiered The Brian Copeland Show. With his unique blend of humor and riveting talk, the program was the most listened to program in its time slot, reaching more than 100,000 listeners. Copeland's other theatrical works include Not a Genuine Black Man, the longest-running one man show in San Francisco history; his acclaimed play The Waiting Period, a story of combatting depression; The Scion, a taken-from-the-headlines tale of privilege, murder, and sausage; the critically-acclaimed Christmas classic, The Jewelry Box; and The Great American Sh*t Show, a collaboration with Charlie Varon featuring monologues on life in the Age of Trump. Copeland's first crime fiction novel, OUTRAGED, published by Black Odyssey Media will be released nationwide April 2024.  

David Ford has been collaborating on new and unusual theatre for three decades and has been associated with The Marsh for most of that time. The San Francisco press has variously called him “the solo performer maven,” “the monologue maestro,” “the dean of solo performance,” and “the solo performer's best friend.” A week rarely goes by when residents of the Bay Area cannot enjoy one of his productions. Collaborators include Geoff Hoyle, Brian Copeland, Charlie Varon, Echo Brown, Marilyn Pittman, Rebecca Fisher, Wayne Harris, Jill Vice, and Marga Gomez. Ford's work has been seen regionally at The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater, Theatre at St. Clement's, Dixon Place, Theatre for the New City (New York), Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. (Washington, D.C.). His work has also been featured in most of the fringe festivals in North America, as well as at theaters around the Bay Area including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Magic Theatre, and Marin Theatre Company. Ford's directing has garnered several “Best of Fringe” Awards and a Goldie Award.  

The Marsh is known as “a breeding ground for new performance.” It was launched in 1989 by Founder and Artistic Director Stephanie Weisman, and pre-COVID hosted more than 600 performances of 175 shows across the company's two venues in San Francisco and Berkeley. A leading outlet for solo performers, The Marsh's specialty has been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “solo performances that celebrate the power of storytelling at its simplest and purest.” The East Bay Times named The Marsh one of Bay Area's best intimate theaters, calling it “one of the most thriving solo theaters in the nation. The live theatrical energy is simply irresistible.” Since its launch in April 2020, the theatre's digital platform MarshStream has garnered more than 100,000 viewers. Notable MarshStream moments include the debut of MarshStream International Solo Fest 1 and 2, The Marsh's first-ever digital festivals, and the U.S. premiere of The Invisible Line, a new documentary about one of the world's most famous social experiments gone wrong. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic MarshStream has hosted over 700 live streams, providing some 300 performers a platform to continue developing and producing art. The Marsh will continue to offer digital content on MarshStream, as well as in- person performances.