PLAYWRIGHT & PERFORMER
June 3, 2023
June 12, 2023
June 22, 2023
June 23, 2023
The HUDSON Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Frankie Bates arrives in Dallas, Texas from a small town with big ambitions and his eyes set on making it in the entertainment industry. Shortly after arriving, he is introduced to Mr. Pope, a mid-level, out-of-the-box-thinking businessman and shepherd of young talent. While Pope grooms and imparts wisdom to the young Kansas native, everything goes well for the two until it begins to go very wrong. Bad advice followed by an even worse choice changes the lives of both men, leading to the total devastation of their relationship and leaving Frankie at odds with the value of his life.
"What a totally mesmerizing experience! Such incisive writing, such powerful acting in which his mellifluous voice and his physicality run the gamut of emotions from hearty laughter to near-uncontrolled rage! Both of Cooper Bate's stories, "Black When I Was a Child" and "Black'd Out", is a beautifully realistic portrayal of a young Black man growing up in a heavily white community. As an old white man I need to be often reminded of the racism, conscious and otherwise, that permeates our society and I was. But I also identified with the peer pressure, the desire to fit in, and the naivete of all young men, regardless of color, experience in their late teens and early twenties. I was on the edge of my seat and totally locked-in the whole two hours."
Henry Joy - Audience Member
"Blacked Out" 369 Festival
"Story and message are powerful but I enjoyed Coopers acting the most. Morphing from character to character seamlessly, connecting on every beat. This may be a one man show but it feels like a film with rich dialogue, action, inner exploration and character development. Highly recommend!"
Hollywood Fringe Festival
"Last night we had the honor and privilege of attending last night's show by Cooper Bates and to be a part of the debriefing panel afterwards. There are absolutely no words to describe what it means to hear Cooper's story and to be in the room as he shares it. We could use the words awe inspiring, breathtaking, passionate, heart stopping, and magnificent and it still would somehow not be enough to really capture the experience"
"Black When I Was a Boy is gripping, unsettling, and transformative in the most positive and generative ways. Both Cooper Bates and his story telling ability is both entertaining and inviting."
"What is so arresting and moving about this piece is the ethos of compassion, honesty, bravery and ethereal light that the artist maintains in response to such dehumanization. His perspective is so unique and yet the wisdom he offers through his actions are universal and grounding. And he does it all with such joy and humor."
"This is a creative gift for anyone fortunate enough to share their heart, mind and time with Cooper and the stellar cast of his “one man” show, “Black When I Was a Boy.”
"As hard as it was to watch these moments and empathize with the pain and rage he felt, the overall feel of the piece was hopeful...this is a solid #SeeItLA."
See It Or Skip It LA
"Cooper Bates' one man show, Black When I Was a Boy is a truly heartfelt tale of that banishment from paradise so many of us experience when we first come to learn the sinful truth."
"BLACK WHEN I WAS A BOY is raw, riveting, brave, funny, smart, and universal in its theme and depiction of claiming one's own identity with pride and determination. See it--you'll be blown away."
Theater Director, Teacher
"Black When I Was a Boy" is a piece so fully embodied, so alive and beautifully told. It was a solid, unabashed 90-minute performance par excellence... His strong medicine helped me, too!!! Thanks for sharing this with our community. What a tremendous gift! I hope you can bring it back to Asheville - More people need to hear your story."
"Though the show takes a little while to hit its stride, possibly because the chronology of events at times feels too comprehensive, Bates’s energy and toothy smile are endearing. And as the ‘cuts’ he experiences begin to mount, we increasingly feel the pain he carries with him. - RECOMMENDED"
"Cooper Bates has woven a story that’s at times hilarious and charming, but that in its often disarming humor opens a window that suddenly leaves us staring at a much bleaker landscape. It makes for theatre that is poignant, gripping and thoughtful."
"These are the stories people need to be telling and hearing! It was good, like, "this guy should get an HBO special" good."
Interdisciplinary Media Artist
"Heartfelt, personal, heartbreaking, hilarious - and ultimately a reminder both of how easy ugliness is to access, teach and learn, and also the redemption available in our common humanity. Cooper’s storytelling was open, sincere, simple, and true; his characterizations specific; his study of his characters’ behavior nuanced and delicate and deeply compassionate. It was a delight to watch his story come to life..."
"Thought provoking, soul searching, critical two hours of awe. See it. You won't regret it!"
"Blacked Out" 369 Festival
"Loved the shows. Well done. Interesting narrative, and characters you wanted to see more of. Both are well developed pieces. Congrats."
"We absolutely loved this show. Cooper Bates’ vulnerability and immense talent in sharing his story was such a gift to receive. It was a somatic experience, hard to put into words, transforming our felt sense of how people of color experience the world. We have new eyes and a new understanding."
"Blacked Out" 369 Festival
Black When I Was a Boy
Starring Glendora Hall
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