“Black When I Was A Boy” From Heart-Rending to Heart-Hopeful

By Ernest Kearney  —  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: The serpent of prejudice and racial intolerance slithers through our world.

Bates narrates the tale of his childhood as the only black child in his community of Hill City, Kansas.   The tale is immensely sincere, and what is the Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutionremarkable spine of the piece is that, though young Bates grows into manhood and finally sees the world for the imperfect place it is, he — himself — never loses that child’s innocence; that while seeing the flaws in people, always hopes to find their better angels.

The show is a tad cluttered, and a snip here or there would only serve to benefit it, but as it is Black When I Was a Boy is a solid brightly shining GOLD MEDAL.


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Black When I was a Boy


Is Playing During the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018


Studio C

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.

Final Performances:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 10pm


Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 3pm

For Complete Show Information, Tickets and Reservations Go To:


What is the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018?
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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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