New York Amsterdam News


“   a tour de force

James Baldwin – Down From The Mountaintop is a one-man play written and performed by Tony Award nominee, Calvin Levels.  The play depicts the rich and impassioned life of the esteemed novelist, playwright, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin.  It traces the fervent life of this American writer recognized for his novels on personal identity, along with his plays and essays on human rights. Baldwin returns from the ethereal realm with the intent of instilling an insecure actor with the insight necessary to portray him truthfully. He recounts various events from his life, including growing up in Harlem as a prodigious reader and child minister; his early quest for love; his relationship with mentor and friend Beauford Delaney, and also with his idol Richard Wright; leaving America and moving to Paris; publishing works such as Go Tell It On The Mountain and Giovanni’s Room; friendships and rivalries with the likes of Marlon Brando, Lorraine Hansberry, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Langston Hughes; his relationship with the Actors Studio; his association with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and the civil rights movement; up until his death at his home in the South of France. The play ends with Baldwin being summoned back to the ethereal realm and leaving the performer imbued with a passion that will change his life forever.


James Baldwin, age 18 

photograph courtesy

of Claire Burch



LA Watts Times


"Levels...pulls off his role

as Baldwin brilliantly."




Los Angeles Wave


"Levels'  performance

is intimate, passionate

and telling...."


Now Booking Performances for

2012 – 2013

phone or e-mail for information on booking this 

powerful play at your theatre or institution


(323) 456-7213

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