The Marsh Celebrates Black History Month With Performances In SF And Berkeley

Article Pixel

In celebration of Black History Month, The Marsh San Francisco and The Marsh Berkeley announce additional performances of four shows which speak to the 20th century African-American experience: Living the Shuffle, Not a Genuine Black Man, The Waiting Period, and East 14th. From a look at the difficulties faced by Black actors in the film industry to growing up in what was declared one of the most racist suburbs in America, overcoming depression, and living on the rough side of town, each solo show brilliantly explores aspects of life, as seen through the eyes of actor/performers Robert Townsend, Brian Copeland, and Don Reed. For tickets and additional information on Living the Shuffle (Feb. 1-29), Not a Genuine Black Man (Feb. 8), The Waiting Period (Feb. 16), and East 14th (Feb. 21 & 22), the public may visit or call The Marsh Box office at 415-282-3055 (open Monday through Friday, 1:00pm-4:00pm). NOTE: Performances locations vary.

Living the Shuffle - February 1-29:
Living the Shuffle, Robert Townsend's one-man rollercoaster-ride through the ups and downs of show business, is enjoying an extended run at The Marsh Berkeley. Renowned actor/director Robert Townsend has worked with Hollywood icons like Beyoncé, Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, and many more. Now, the trailblazing filmmaker gives audiences a front row seat to his career, from the dangerous streets of Chicago to performing Julius Caesar at a pimp convention in New York City, then creating the breakout film that would launch his career, Hollywood Shuffle, and becoming a Black film pioneer. Critics and audiences alike have been praising Townsend and this new solo show. The San Francisco Chronicle called it "a raw and madcap comedy," imploring audiences to "come for the gossip, stay for Townsend's imagination."

Not a Genuine Black Man - February 8:
The Marsh Berkeley celebrates Black History month with a special, one-night-only performance of Not a Genuine Black Man, 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 Brian Copeland recounts the struggles Copeland faced growing up in what was declared one of the most racist suburbs in America. "In the current political climate, empathy seems to be a lost commodity. 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,'" says Copeland. 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."

The Waiting Period - February 16:
In celebration of Black History Month, The Marsh San Francisco adds a free performance of Brian Copeland's The Waiting Period, due to ongoing support from a GoFundMe campaign and generous corporate contributions from Summit Bank, Clint Reilly Associates, The Handlery Hotel Union Square in San Francisco, Fremont Bank, OSIsoft, and Galvan and Associates in San Leandro. This deeply moving and surprisingly funny work outlines Copeland's own struggles with depression and suicidal thought, and is presented at no cost to remove all barriers for those who may be struggling with depression themselves. Featuring humorous, poignant, and riveting insights, the solo show written by Copeland and directed by David Ford.

East 14th - February 21 & 22:
This February, The Marsh San Francisco announces a very limited run of comedian Don Reed's East 14th. Winner of the 2016 Theatre Bay Area (TBA) Award for "Outstanding Presentation of a Solo Production," this acclaimed autobiographical hit invites audiences to 1970s Oakland when Reed tried to resist the evangelical recruiting by his ultra-religious stepfather. All Reed wanted was to be just like dear old Dad, not knowing that Dad was a pimp. East 14th is the first installment in Reed's hilarious coming-of-age trilogy and includes elements of the unforgettable story "I Miss Toni" that was featured on NPR podcast "Snap Judgment." As a producer, Don is co-producing noted director/writer/actor Robert Townsend's (Hollywood Shuffle, The 5 Heartbeats, Eddie Murphy's Raw, The Last OG) one-man show Living the Shuffle for The Marsh.

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."

For information or to order tickets visit or call (415) 282-3055 (Monday through Friday, 1:00pm-4:00pm).

Related Articles View More San Francisco Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You