The Marsh San Francisco to Present Limited Engagement Return of Brian Copeland's NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN

The production will run April 6 – May 4, 2024.

By: Feb. 23, 2024
The Marsh San Francisco to Present Limited Engagement Return of Brian Copeland's NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

The Marsh San Francisco will mark the 20th anniversary of Not a Genuine Black Man, with a special limited engagement that will include the 1,000th performance of Brian Copeland’s stunning work, 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. This hit solo 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 5:00pm Saturdays, April 6 – May 4, 2024 at The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco.

“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. I hope that with this special anniversary engagement audiences will revisit this unique solo show, especially on the 1,000th performance on April 20.”  
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.  


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 D.C. 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 S.M.A.S.H. 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 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; the poignant look at single parenting and the 2023 BroadwayWorld San Francisco Bay Area Award for Best Solo Performance GRANDMA & ME; 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, which will be released nationwide April 2024.   

For tickets ($25-$35 sliding scale, $50 and $100 reserved) or more information, the public may visit   

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus