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New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

W.E.B. DU BOIS: A Man For All Times (FringeNYC)

From 6 critic and 17 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

About the show

Part of FringeNYC: "Heartwarming and inspirational!" A vibrant, passionate journey through the 95 years of his tumultuous life and times. This great Civil Rights Activist, born 1868, brought to life by this critically acclaimed performance. "History cannot ignore Du Bois!" Martin Luther King. More…

Categories: Drama, Solo Show, Local. From Pulse Ensemble Theatre. Written by Alexa Kelly. Directed by Alexa Kelly.

William Edward Berghardt Du Bois, a black American born 3 years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, just after the Civil War, broke all boundaries: he was the first black student to graduate from Harvard, the first black Sociologist, he studied in Europe, ran for senator, co-founded the NAACP, participated in the founding of the United Nations, fought tirelessly for Civil Rights for all people, and anti-lynching laws. He lived to see segregation declared unconstitutional. He died in Africa -- on the eve of Dr. Martin Luther King's March on Washington. Dr. King held a moment of silence for him.

Dr. Du Bois believed in women's rights, and the right for all people to have work, free education and medical coverage. Indeed if it were not for McCarthy having accused Du Bois of being a Communist, in the McCarthy witch hunts, ( he was acquitted!) the name of Dr. Du Bois would be as famous in America as that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said of his mentor "History cannot ignore W.E.B. DU BOIS".

Du Bois life was an epic saga of love and loss which gives a moving dimension to the story of this outsized, impressive public man. An emotion packed theatre experience.

After its critically acclaimed tour at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 20 performances at the V & A Museum, London, and a tour of Holland in 2013 were there was a command performance for Queen Beatrix, the show has been a part of many local events and celebrations: 50th Anniversary of Du Bois' death (August 27th, 2012), the 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington, (August 28th, 2013), and the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation Act (January 1, 2013).

Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868, in Gt. Barrington, MA. 2015 marked his 146th Birthday anniversary, where this play was featured.

The critically acclaimed actor, BRIAN RICHARDSON plays Dr. Du Bois and the many other characters in the show.

1h 15m | Already closed | 64E4 UNDERGROUND (East Village)


"When it comes to emotional intensity in a play ‘W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man for All Times’ is second to none…Much of the power of the piece is the relationship that Richardson, as Du Bois, establishes with the audience…As directed by Alexa Kelly, this piece clocks in at 75 minutes, with no dead spots in any scene. This is an ideal opportunity to learn about this civil rights activist and the lasting contributions he made to the twentieth century." Full Review

New York Theater

"It’s one of the accomplishment of this solo show that it makes accessible both the man himself and some of his ideas. The creative team works to make the pioneering scholar and uncompromising activist come off as somebody you might want to have a drink with—without sanding smooth the edges of his anger or his intellect…It’s hard to pack 95 years into 75 minutes...But 'W.E.B. Du Bois' manages to get at the highlights, and Richardson’s protean performance helps us get at the man." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A lesson in American history as much as it is a study in character development...Heavily researched...This bounty of information will not deter the engaged audience member...One could be forgiven for having some trouble immersing completely in the experience. Powerful, humbling anecdotes can shift abruptly into new scenes that take place many years later...What is remarkable about 'A Man for All Times' is that Kelly’s play handily describes a man for our times as well." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

for a previous production "Richardson’s electrifying portrayal of William Edward Berghardt DuBois is a privilege to experience. Richardson is able to tell DuBois’ story with conviction and style. He understands who DuBois was, how he spoke, how he moved, how he used every rhetorical device to persuade his listeners of the importance of social justice…Alexa Kelly’s well-written script is compelling. But it is Brian Richardson’s understanding of rhetoric that moves the script to dazzling success." Full Review

The Scotsman

for a previous production "This one-man restaging of the life of American author and activist W.E.B. DuBois, a less well-known international figurehead of the civil rights movement, is most enjoyable for the dignified and commanding title performance from Brian Richardson, lending DuBois the expected air of intellectual gravitas and quietly commanding statesmanship...All this, Richardson brings to life in a way that’s never any less than compelling, even as he offers many of us a welcome education." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "Richardson plays DuBois with commitment and intensity...This is a respectful performance, lovingly portrayed...What does constrain the show, however, is the timing. This is clearly an edited version of a much lengthier piece...There is no time to let the enormity of these events sink in...This is a wonderful tale that deserves to be told to a wider audience...As a snapshot of a great man told by a performer at the top of his game, this is certainly an hour well spent." Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Very informative

Don't see it if If you do not like one-man shows

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

See it if you want to learn a LOT about this important figure in American history and enjoy a powerful and passionate one-man performance

Don't see it if exposition bothers you. There's a lot of "then I went here" and "after that, I..."

Also Excellent performance by Brian Richardson, and a prodigious feat of me... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Must see, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You are interested in the untold history of the struggle for human rights here and abroad

Don't see it if Everyone should see this.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if You are drawn to historical drama, appreciate powerful solo performances, have an interest in the lives of major black Americans.

Don't see it if You suffer from A.D.D., as you may be overwhelmed by some of Du Bois' public addresses.

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You'd enjoy a bravura performance that also provides an incisive look at the U.S. Black experience

Don't see it if You don't like checking out well-performed, well-staged one-man shows with a point.

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

See it if You are interested in history, politics, social philosophy

Don't see it if You aren't entertained by though-provoking drama

Ambitious, Exquisite, Great acting, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You love brilliant theatre, written and acted to excellent standards. Learning about historical figures via theatre.

Don't see it if You enjoy uncomplicated, linear story structure, or conventional plots involving fictional personages.

Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You like one man shows about historical figures. He does do multiple characters.

Don't see it if You hate solo shows.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in the subject matter.

Don't see it if you're not interested in thought-provoking drama.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if You love a gripping, educational, wonderfully performed, one-man show.

Don't see it if You do not like seeing an amazing performance.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting

See it if Educational , riveting and delightful A must see

Don't see it if you don't want to learn about history that isn't in the textbooks

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing

See it if you want to experience great writing and splendid acting! An historic look at a true civil rights leader.

Don't see it if Just go see it! You will not regret it.

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You are passionate about education and passionate about human rights and want to see some beautiful acting and staging.

Don't see it if You are not prepared to listen. This play deserves your full attention!

Great acting, Masterful, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You want to see great acting and script writing. Really knocked me out on many levels -riveting, emotional, relevant, historical. See it!

Don't see it if nothing...go see it. It's amazing! Brian Richardson takes you on a roller coaster of emotions and delivers solid character development.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Riveting

See it if If you want to learn and be inspired.

Don't see it if Must see!

Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You want to learn about someone well known but unsung in popular culture. An important account of what adversity a Human being can endure.

Don't see it if you feel the subject matter would make you so uncomfortable that you'd inadvertently ruin the experience for your fellow audience members.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow

See it if you're interested in learning more about WEB Dubois' life and legacy.

Don't see it if you're already familiar with WEB Dubois' life and legacy.