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The Artivist, the Bayard Rustin Story

From 17 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Intelligent

About the show

A one-person show about the life of Bayard Rustin, one of the first Freedom Riders, an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and an openly gay black man in a society crippled with intolerance and bigotry. More…

“The Artivist” draws from the speeches, writings, and video/audio clips of this important historical political activist.

Member Reviews (17)


Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Intelligent
Avg Score

Passionate, Confusing, Sketchy, Informative, Thrilling clips & stills

See it if you'd like to know something about a core civil rights organizer who was also semi-publicly homosexual at a time when no one else was.

Don't see it if you know a bit about Rustin & might get frustrated at how much a curious 50-minute dramatized lecture has to leave out.

Also This is essentially a 50-minute 1-man dramatized lecture about core ci... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You’re interested in U.S. Black and Gay history all in 1. The venue is small + has its issues but it’s worth overlooking these.if upon can.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a fun musical. However the education is especially relevant today

Epitomizes the best in way off-off broadway, Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Nice mixture of live performance and projections

See it if ur interested in challenges & victories of civil rights & gay rights history that may be repeating itself today-Good writing & good acting

Don't see it if ur body can't stand 1 hour in cramped conditions sitting on folding chairs with no back support - or aren't interested in civil & gay rights

Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if You want to see the story of an important but not well known figure in the civil rights movement

Don't see it if You don’t like one man shows or you’re not interested in African-American history

Low cost multi-media powerhouse, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing, Serious talent

See it if To learn more about one of our country's greatest change makers To see what an amazing group of talented professionals can do on the cheap

Don't see it if If you are a bigot or if you only enjoy big shows with puppets Also Black studies folks may disagree with some portrayals but see it anyway

Also Artivist -combining "artist" and "activist". ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in the Civil Rights Movement and in people who stood up for what is right! Great story and acting.

Don't see it if you are not interested in history or only want entertainment not history lessons in your free time.

Also I was absorbed by this story from start to finish and will probably wa... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you want to learn of Bayard Rustin's involvement in the civil rights movement.

Don't see it if you will be disappointed that the life of Bayard Rustin is not discussed in more detail. Also, the play is only 55 minutes.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if you want a glimpse into the life of one of the lesser known founders of the Civil Rights Movement.

Don't see it if you like an ensemble cast (it's a one man show) and want a more straight forward story.

A quick history lesson about an important figure in the civil rights movement, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if If you’ve never heard of Bayard Rustin you will want to see this one man 50 minute play. Funds raised help support City Kids.

Don't see it if You need a well produced show. This little theatre runs on a tight budget. Also, there is no intermission.

Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are not familiar with Beyard Rustin, an underated, or at least under represented leader in the civil rights movement.

Don't see it if you dislike one person shows, even when the actor is skilled at impersonation.

Also An enjoyable and educational play with wonderful acting. Nicely suppor... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Profound

See it if Was at the opening night- very moving story of a real community activist who somehow got overlooked.Great use of film, strong storytelling.

Don't see it if If you like fluffy shows about characters who didn’t achieve much in their life.Do read his bio on Wiki beforehand. A true fighter inspiring

Relevant, Intelligent, Informative, Musical, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in civil rights history, underappreciated historical figures, queer history, one-man shows

Don't see it if you'd prefer a coherent plot rather than moments in a man's life, a full cast rather than a one-man show

Absorbing, Clever, Historical, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if If you want to do the truth about another person that pushed the CIVIL RIGHTS BILL INTO HISTORY FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS AND WOMEN!


Story of a singulary important but under-appreciated hero, Absorbing, Clever, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to learn more about an under celebrated architect of the civil rights movement & to draw connections to current race matters

Don't see it if You are uninterested in efforts to expand human rights & perhaps students of Black history could take issue with some portrayals

Also Great effort by lead actor - he brought several characters (figures fr... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Informative

See it if you are unfamiliar with the achievements of Bayard Rustin. Admittedly, I knew little, but the show made me want to learn more.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of solo shows, or shows that have a historical bent.

Also The central performance of Keyonn Sheppard was engaging, moreso than t... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a brief, yet powerful biographical play on Bayard Rustin's life and work in an intimate theatre.

Don't see it if You expect a dramatic plot.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you'd appreciate a multimedia show w/ a charismatic star recounting history of the civil right movement, often in Rustin's own poetic words.

Don't see it if you know everything about the civil rights movement 1940-70 or are uninterested in this critical period & one of its sadly less known heroes

Also let's hope that resources will be available to flesh out this very goo... Read more Read less

February 3rd, 2019
"Sheppard is a charismatic performer with a commanding voice; he’s also a great mimic...Alleyne deserves praise for paying homage to this remarkable man...It needs be said that 'The Artivist' is neither as polished a work of theater nor as satisfying a record of Rustin’s achievements as it could ...
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Cast & Creatives (3)