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Bring Classic African-American Plays To San Diego

Organized by: Calvin Manson

Calvin's Photo
Calvin's Photo


My name is Calvin Manson and I am the Artistic Director of the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players. I am currently raising money so I can offer my next theatrical production Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.

Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope is play written in the “1970s that still resonates with audiences 50 years later. Based in New York, following the unrest of the Civil Rights Movement it is a spectacularly fun music with a strong social message. The complacency of societal norms of the past can no longer be put up within the play of social justice. As a playwright, poet, and community activist for the arts and a native of San Diego I take on the responsibility to give voice to the African-American experience and shine a light on the art of theatre. This is my 32nd theatrical season and my 4th year at the San Diego Continuing Education, Educational Cultural Complex Performing Arts (ECC). My goal is to expand and improve the artistic and cultural exchanges available at ECC. I can do this by providing quality theatrical offerings and opportunities for local multi-ethnic artists. This play offers me a unique opportunity to just that.

Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope directed by Vinnette Carroll opened on Broadway in 1972. It was the first time an African American woman directed a show on Broadway. Under the vision of Grant and Carroll, Don’t Bother Me; I Can’t Cope received four Tony nominations including Best Direction of a musical. It also received a multitude of awards including a Grammy for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album (Grant). The show ran for a total of 1065 performances.

Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, expressed through song and dance of the African American experience of poverty, of tenements, slumlords, ghetto life, student protest, black power, and feminism. The relevance of this play can be seen in current headlines, across social media, and on the streets. I am asking you to become a Hero and help me put this play on and put art back in the community.

- For those who give $50 of support, you will receive 1 complimentary signed flyer.

- For those who give $75 of support, you will receive 1 complimentary ticket to the show and complimentary signed flyer.

- For those who contribute a $250 of support, you will receive an 18 x 24 framed signed poster by director & complete San Diego cast and two tickets to the show.

- Give any amount that you can and know that everything you give and everything offer in spirit is received and appreciated.

Your heroic donations give artists a place to create and the opportunity to experience our community in a new and transformational way.

This holiday season we ask that you give! Give generously! Give the gift of inspiration!

Other Ways You Can Help

- Give the gift of theatre and purchase IARP 2015 – 2015 Theatre Season pass for $68.

- Sharing our information, including this email, with your friends and family.

- Tell the world – what have you done to Keep Soul Alive? Facebook us!

Note: When you receive our theatre season pass, you actually receiving a set number of admissions. For example, our regular season ticket is good for 3 admissions – however you wish to use them. You could attend every show in our season once and use 3 admissions, or attend 1 shows and bring two friends. This system offers you total flexibility in how you use your admissions.

Ira Aldridge Repertory Players is producing Don’t Bother Me, I Can Cope in association with the SDCC, Educational Cultural Complex with at Educational Cultural Complex Performing Arts. You can look forward to seeing Don’t Bother Me, I Can Cope March - 12, 2016, and we thank you for your generous donations.


Calvin Manson is the Founder/Artistic Director of the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players. He is a Playwright and Poet. 40 years in San Diego. His production of Lookin’ for an Echo about searching for that street corner harmony received the San Diego Theatre Critic’s Award for Outstanding Special Theatrical. His play Passion & Honey about his personal narrative reflecting the African American experiences was nominated for 9 Audrey Award and received Best Direction for a Drama, Best Director for a Drama, Best Ensemble and including Best Playwright. Most substantially, Manson has recently been awarded the esteemed the NAACP, San Diego Branch Lorraine V. Hansberry Performing Arts Award.

He is known in San Diego as Community Activist for the Arts and severed on several art boards and art organizations such as City of San Diego Commission for the Arts, Ronald McDonald Foundation, Rolling Reader, San Diego Library Foundation. He co-founded and was the first president of the Black Writers & Artists known now as (African-American Artists & Writers.) He founded Live on the Street a theatre designed to get youth off the street and onto the stage. His publish works are: ‘Black Theater for Black People,’ ‘You Hear me Talkin’ Ya!,’ ‘Passion & Honey,’ ‘Chocolate Ripple Popsicle’ and ‘Tell The Truth On Purpose.’

He is an artist that believes wholeheartedly in the power and strength of the community.



4% Raised of $10,000 Goal

  • Danielle Shields


  • Anonymous


  • Sandra Foster-King


Organized by

Calvin Manson

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

Donor Comments

Sandra Foster-King

Sandra Foster-King


I was Assitant Choreographer to Kenny Green, under Directorship of the late Dr. Floyd Gaffney in the '80's for "Don't Bother Me..." What a thrill to know it will be presented in SD again. I'll be there & with Congrats! S. Foster-King 2 years ago



2 years ago

Danielle Shields

Danielle Shields

2 years ago

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