Racial Assumptions Explored In AREN'T YOU...? At The Marsh SF

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The Marsh San Francisco presents Aren't You...?, the newest solo show by actor Fred Pitts recounting his hilarious journey to visit all 21 California Mission churches, where he discovers being black makes him an instant celebrity - the question is which one? Set in the Summer of 2012, Pitts finds himself at one Mission after the next, encountering docents and fellow tourists.

Some are experts on the Catholic Church, a few are experts on Native American history, others are experts on...everything else. Yet, they have one thing in common: they are all experts on which famous black person he resembles. Full of Pitts' personal experiences and love of history, Aren't You...? perfectly blends delightful insights into the Missions, cogent thoughts on early California settlers' interactions with Native Americans, and the experience of walking in the shoes of an African American male.

In December 2018, Fred Pitts' first solo show (under an earlier title) had its debut at PlayGround Solo Performance Festival. It went on to be featured at The Marsh as part of its Marsh Rising Series (May 2019), Dragon Productions Theatre's Inaugural Singular Stories (August 2019), and PianoFight (August 2019). This April, Aren't You...? will return to The Marsh San Francisco for a full run.

San Francisco-based actor Fred Pitts (Actor/Writer) has been performing in the Bay Area for 20 years. He is a company member of African-American Shakespeare Company and Custom Made Theatre Company, and has worked with numerous theatres throughout the Bay. Regional credits include All The Way, A Streetcar Named Desire, Jitney, Julius Caesar, Clybourne Park, Middletown, The Heidi Chronicles, Eurydice (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nominee for Best Supporting Actor), One Man, Two Guvnors, and Sweat. Pitts also has numerous film and commercial credits. He is a member of SAG and has appeared in several films. After being an Emergency Medicine physician for 20 years, Pitts now runs an Occupational Medicine clinic in San Francisco.

ShawnJ West (Director) is an actor and director who works in both stage and film. He directed African-American Shakespeare Company's 2015 production of Cinderella, and recently returned to the company as Assistant Director to L. Peter Callender on MacBeth. West also directed four episodes of SIS Productions' cult hit Sex in Seattle, ReAct's WELL, and the West Coast premiere of Illyria with Redwood Theatre as well as their productions of The Seven Year Itch and Nunsense. This spring, he is also set to direct the West Coast premiere of Donja R. Love's Sugar in Our Wounds at the New Conservatory Theatre Company.

David Ford (Developer) has been collaborating on new and unusual theater 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." Collaborators include Geoff Hoyle, Echo Brown, Brian Copeland, Charlie Varon, Marilyn Pittman, Rebecca Fisher, Wayne Harris, and Marga Gomez. As a director, Ford has directed both solo and ensemble work regionally at The Public Theater, Second Stage, Theatre for the New City (NY), Highways (LA) and Woolly Mammoth (Washington, DC) as well as at theaters around the Bay Area including Magic Theatre and Marin Theatre Company. He is also a published playwright.

The Marsh is known as "a breeding ground for new performance." It was launched in 1989 by Founder and Artistic Director Stephanie Weisman, and now annually hosts 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."

Aren't You...? will be presented April 11 - May 10, 2020 (press opening: April 11) with performances at 5:00pm Saturdays and 2:00pm Sundays at The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco. For tickets ($20-$35 sliding scale; $55 and $100 reserved) or more information, the public may visit or call The Marsh Box office at 415-282-3055 (open Monday through Friday, 1:00pm-4:00pm).

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