Huntington to Close 2013-14 Season with Lydia R. Diamond's SMART PEOPLE, Begin. 5/23
Huntington Theatre Company concludes its 2013-2014 Season with Smart People, a sharp and provocative new comedy by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond. Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois (The Power of Duff) helms the newest play from the author of the Huntington's 2010 hit production of Stick Fly. Performances of Smart People begin at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA on May 23. Due to popular demand, the run has been extended to Sunday, June 29, 2014.
"Quick-witted, wildly intelligent, and as entertaining as it is unsettling, Smart People is Lydia Diamond's most ambitious play to date," says DuBois. "Her debut play at the Huntington, the wildly successful Stick Fly, was first and foremost about family dynamics, whereas Smart People is about big, controversial ideas. Yet the two share electrifying interpersonal relationships among surprising characters that infuse both stories with great humor and heart." Hear more from DuBois about the production at huntingtontheatre.org/peter-smartpeople.
Smart People examines the big question of whether our beliefs and prejudices are hard-wired into us by exploring the intersecting lives of four Harvard intellectuals - Brian, a white neuro-psychiatrist studying the brain's response to race; his Chinese-Japanese American lover Ginny, a tenured Harvard professor of psychology who studies race and identity among Asian-American women; Brian's friend Jackson, an outspoken African-American surgical intern on rotation in one of Harvard's teaching hospitals; and Valerie, an African-American graduate of ART's acting program. With barbed wit, Diamond explores the inescapable nature of racism and depicts the four's search for love, success, and identify in a complex world in this controversial and fiercely funny new play.
"What an outrageous honor - the luxury of returning to a theatre I've come to call home," says Diamond. "I can think of no better place to launch my new play than within the smart, warm embrace of the Huntington. Smart People takes on big, risky ideas and lives in the world of questioning and flawed humanity. It is thrilling to have Peter DuBois at the helm of a ship that looks at huge, explosive ideas in nuanced and often humorous ways."
The ensemble cast features McKinley Belcher III (Invisible Man at the Huntington and Romeo and Juliet at Classic Stage Company) as Jackson; Miranda Craigwell (Romeo and Juliet at Actor's Shakespeare Project and How We Got On at Company One Theatre) as Valerie; Roderick Hill (What the Butler Saw at the Huntington and Butley on Broadway) as Brian; and Eunice Wong (Faust at Classic Stage Company and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow at Atlantic Theater Company) as Ginny.
Smart People was commissioned by McCarter Theatre Center and is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant.