Meet The Smart People Involved In Smart People

by:  Thom Dunn at 04/28/2014

Tuesday is the first day of rehearsal for the world premiere Smart People, the final production in our 2013-2014 season which also marks the return of Huntington favorite Lydia R. Diamond, whose play Stick Fly was a huge hit back in 2010 (and even enjoyed a brief stint on Broadway!). Helmed by our fearless leader Peter DuBois, Smart People is a sharp new comedy that examines the big question of whether our beliefs and prejudices are hard-wired into us by exploring the intersecting lives of four Harvard intellectuals. 

In short, it fits right into Lydia's wheelhouse as a writer, and we couldn't be happier to have her back on our stage. She recently completed the script during a fellowship residency at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute:


McKinley Belcher III in Invisible Man. Photo: Astrid Reiken

The four-person cast is a great mix of faces new and old. Some of you may recognize McKinley Belcher III from his role in Invisible Man last year. In Smart People, he plays Jackson, an outspoken African-American surgical intern on rotation in one of Harvard's teaching hospitals. Huntington Playwriting Fellow Miranda Craigwell (also a local actress in productions such as How We Got On at Company One and Two Gentlemen of Verona at Actors' Shakespeare Project and also also the a HowlRound Producer for The Theatre Commons) makes her acting debut with us as Valerie, an African-American graduate of ART's acting program (hey ART, we love you guys). The role of Brian, a white neuro-pyschiatrist studying the brain's response to race (based on the real-life Project Implicit) is played by Roderick Hill, whose last Huntington appearance was 10 years ago in What The Butler Saw. The cast is rounded out by Huntington newcomer Eunice Wong as Ginny, a tenured Harvard professor of psychology who studies race and identity among Asian-American women who is also Brian's lover.

The design side looks pretty similar, with Alexander Dodge (Rapture, Blister, Burn) designing the set, M.L. Dogg (Rapture, Blister, Burn and The Power of Duff) handling sound, and Aaron Rhyne (The Power of Duff) providing the video projections. They'll be joined by costume designer Junghyun Georgia Lee (Max and Ruby Off Broadway and The Water's Edge at Second Stage Theatre) and lighting designer Paul Gallo (over 50 Broadway productions including Wonderland and Three Days of Rain).

We'll report back with more video from the first rehearsal, but for now, here's Peter DuBois discussing the show:

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About me

Thom Dunn is the Web & New Media Manager at the Huntington, meaning it's his job to play around on the Internet and make things cool. He handles all of the video content and social media as well, and has the biggest computer monitor in the office. Like, ginormous.

Outside of the Huntington, Thom is a writer, musician, and homebrewer. It's all pretty cool. You can find out more about it at thomdunn.net.

 
 

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