"Calvin Levels is marvelous in his role as James Baldwin in this powerful play.  Please do not miss it!"

Dr. Cornel West

University Professor of Religion Princeton University

"A great actor channels a great writer in a national tour, with readings, anecdotes, and contemporary political commentary."

The Advocate

Top Ten Performances of 2004

"...I stopped being aware of you (Levels) in a role. It was Baldwin that I was seeing and hearing up there."

Dwight A. McBride, Ph.D.

Northwestern University

Dean of the Graduate School &  Associate Provost

Daniel Hale Williams Professor of African American

Studies & English

James Baldwin Now, Editor

“It was indeed a tour de force and Levels, who also authored the solo play, has captured some of the most stirring episodes of Baldwin’s life and legacy—and this is no easy task given the almost daily drama that made Baldwin such a kinetic and charismatic figure.”

New York Amsterdam News

"Levels…has a hypnotic power that creates a revival fervor…"

Los Angeles Times

(Critic's Choice)

"Calvin Levels does an amazing job of conveying the complexity of James Baldwin in his one-man play, James Baldwin: Down From the Mountaintop.  Students were inspired to read his works, everyone was moved by the power of the performance and inspired to keep Baldwin's spirit alive."

Felice Yeskel, Ed.D.
Director, The Stonewall Center, UMass Amherst 

"I thought Calvin's performance was compelling -- we enjoyed it immensely. Baldwin's life and work offers so much material for a playwright -- the scope and balance seemed good to me and that's, of course, not easy because Baldwin was such a complex person."

Lynn Orilla Scott

author "James Baldwin's Later Fiction: Witness to the Journey"


"...Calvin masterfully guided us back through the life and time of Baldwin with keen historical insight and a brilliant, sensitive interpretation of Baldwin's personal struggles with race, sexual orientation, spirituality, and the politics of a writer's life in pursuit of equality and justice..."

Andrew Winters
Asst. to the VP of Student Affairs
GLBT Programs and Services
The University of Rhode Island


"...Levels'  intense stage

presence beguiles..."

LA Weekly (Recommended)


"...Levels insightfully brings to light his subject’s rare and admirable qualities."

Los Angeles Times


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photograph of James Baldwin courtesy of Sedat Pakay



Now Booking Performances for
2015 – 2016

Click here to listen to
Calvin's radio interviews   

phone or e-mail for information on booking this 
powerful play at your theatre or institution 

Phone (323) 456-7213



“Words like ‘freedom’, ‘justice’, ‘democracy’ are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare.  People are not born knowing what these are.  It takes enormous effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply."
James Baldwin 
“The Crusade of Indignation,” The Nation
(New York, July 7, 1956) mailto:info@JamesBaldwinPlay.comshapeimage_20_link_0