NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN Extends at The Marsh San Francisco

The production will run May 18 – June 22, 2024.

By: May. 13, 2024
NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN Extends at The Marsh San Francisco
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The Marsh San Francisco will add four additional performances of the limited return engagement of Brian Copeland’s Not a Genuine Black Man, which premiered at The Marsh San Francisco in 2004 and went on to become the longest-running solo show in San Francisco theater history. This funny, honest, and harrowing piece by award-winning actor, playwright, and talk show host Copeland recounts the struggles he faced growing up in what was declared one of the most racist suburbs in America. The Mercury News recently highlighted the show’s continued relevance, noting, “it’s a perfect time to get acquainted with a classic,” while The Daily Californian said the historic solo show has “attracted theatergoers of diverse backgrounds, resonating with people across the board in a way that is even truer now than when the show debuted.” This hit one-man show is now in development with television and film producer Rob Reiner, who told the Los Angeles Times that Not a Genuine Black Man is the “rarest combination of powerful emotion, great humor and social insight – a truly great one-man show.”

Not a Genuine Black Man, written and performed by Brian Copeland, developed by Brian Copeland and David Ford, and directed by David Ford, will be presented 3:00pm Saturdays, May 18 – June 22, 2024 at The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco. For tickets ($25-$35 sliding scale, $50 and $100 reserved) or more information, the public may visit   
“In the current political climate, empathy seems to be a lost commodity,” said Copeland. “By showing people the world through the eyes of a bullied and lonely little African American boy, I hope they will develop compassion for the demonized ‘other.’”  
“There is a reason that Not a Genuine Black Man is San Francisco’s longest running solo show,” added The Marsh Founder and Artistic/Executive Director Stephanie Weisman. “So many can relate to Brian’s tale of what one’s identity means to them and who defines you.”  
In 1972 The National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing called San Leandro a “racist bastion of white supremacy,” becoming the subject of features on CBS News and Newsweek among other national outlets. As the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights conducted hearings, Copeland’s family moved to town – where they faced astonishing and humiliating harassment and isolation. A critically acclaimed exploration of race, identity, and empathy, Not a Genuine Black Man offers a unique blend of laughter, tears, and social commentary. The San Francisco Chronicle described the show as “relentlessly introspective and disarmingly honest, Copeland takes apart the false notion that black masculinity is some monolithic concept, in a way that has continued, unfortunately, to be relevant long after the show’s 2004 premiere.” During a previous run, Theatrius declared “Copeland tells stories like a master. The tenderness and intimacy of Copeland’s storytelling gives way to a rigorous examination of the complexities of Black identity and masculinity.”    
Not a Genuine Black Man is the longest running solo play in San Francisco theatrical history. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed Copeland’s work “a beautiful mix of wry humor and heartbreak, indignation and inspiration, a singular story of extreme isolation that speaks to anyone who's ever felt out of place.” The show has enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and Off-Broadway and was adapted into a bestselling book, which has been listed as required reading at high schools and colleges throughout the nation. It was also chosen as part of Santa Clara County’s “Silicon Valley Reads,” an annual community program that selects books focused on a contemporary theme to engage the public in reading, thinking, and discussing current topics in the community.  


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