About the Director: CHUCK SMITH
Chuck Smith serves as Resident Director for Goodman Theatre, where his directing credits include the Chicago premieres of PULLMAN PORTER BLUES, BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK, RACE, THE GOOD NEGRO, PROOF, and THE STORY, the world premieres of BY THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES, THE GIFT HORSE, and James Baldwin’s THE AMEN CORNER, which went to play at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company, winning the Independent Reviewers of New England Award for Best Direction. He sits on Board of Directors of the Goodman Theatre and the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago and serves as Resident Director for MPAACT and Associate Producer for Legacy Productions.
Smith has directed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Robey Theatre Company, Black Ensemble Theatre, and Congo Square Theatre Company (which produced the world premiere of STICK FLY in 2006). In 2003, he was inducted into the Chicago State University Gwendolyn Brooks Center’s Literary Hall of Fame and, in 2001, was named a Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. In 2012, he was inducted into the Timber Lake Playhouse Hall of Fame. He has also been honored with the Paul Robeson Award and the Award of Merit by Black Theater Alliance of Chicago.
About the Playwright: LYDIA DIAMOND
Ms. Diamond’s plays include: SMART PEOPLE (The Huntington Theatre; 2014 IRNE Nomination for Best New Play), STICK FLY (Premiered at Congo Square Theatre, Broadway at The Cort Theatre (’12 Outer Circle Critics Nomination – Best Play [Broadway],’10 Irne Award, ’10 LA Critics Circle Award, ’10 LA Garland, ’09 LA Weekly Theatre Award, ’08 Susan S. Blackburn Finalist, ’06 Black Theatre Alliance Award,’06 Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination), VOYEURS DE VENUS (Premiered at Chicago Dramatists received: ’06 Joseph Jefferson Award – Best New Work, ’06 BTAA), THE BLUEST EYE (Premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre and transferred to Off-Broadway’s Vic Theatre. Received: ’06 Black Arts Alliance Image Award, ’08 American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award), THE GIFT HORSE (Premiered at the Goodman Theatre received: ’05 1st Place Theodore Ward Prize, Kesselring Prize 2nd Place), and HARRIET JACOBS (Premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre).
Other producing theatres include: Arena Stage, Company One, Congo Square, Everyman Theatre Company, Freedom Theatre, Goodman, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Jubilee Theatre, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Lorraine Hansberry, McCarter Theatre Co., MPAACT, New Vic (Off Broadway), Playmakers Rep, Plowshares Theatre Co., Steppenwolf, TrueColors, and Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Commissions include: Arena Stage, Center Stage, Steppenwolf (4), McCarter, Huntington, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville/Victory Gardens, Humana, Boston University, and The Roundabout. STICK FLY, HARRIET JACOBS, and SMART PEOPLE published by NU Press, BLUEST EYE, GIFT HORSE, STAGE BLACK – Dramatic Publishing, STICK FLY – Samuel French. Ms. Diamond was an ’05/’06 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, an ’07 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, an 06/07 Huntington Playwright Fellow, a 2012/’13 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard, a ’12 Sallie B. Goodman McCarter Fellow, an ’12 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor, is a Playwright Emerita at Chicago Dramatists, has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Pine Manor College, and served on faculty at Boston University (’05-’12). Lydia has served on The Executive Board of Directors at Theatre Communications Group, (2009-2014 – Co-Vice President ’12-’14), Huntington Theatre Company Board of Directors Overseer (2011-2013), Company One Board of Directors (’11-’14 Advisory Board, ongoing), Chicago Dramatist’s Board of Directors and Dramatist Guild Legal Defense Fund Board of Directors (2013 – ongoing).