“Take a spoon full of humor, a half cup of race relations, a sprinkle of relatable characters. Add a handful of intelligent writing. Mix it all up in a bowl and bake for 2 hours. You’ll enjoy a delicious cake of a play!”
The above recipe for a lively (and calorie free) theatrical treat is offered by director D Norris describing Live Arts Theatre’s upcoming production of “Smart People.”
This thought-provoking and humorous play opens today and runs through May 23. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons begin at 2:30 p.m. The play will be offered on Zoom.
“'Smart People’ is about smashing stereotypes. It’s truly a funny show that encourages us to look at the people around us and appreciate the common threads of humanity that link us together," said Live Arts Theatre’s Artistic Director Becca Parker.
The story begins on the eve of Barack Obama’s first election. Four of Harvard University’s brightest are deeply interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to issues of race.
The four individual “smart people” include a surgeon, an actress, a psychologist and a neuro-psychiatrist. All four are extremely bright and well-educated. But, like all people, smart and otherwise, they are also reaching for love, success and identity in their own lives.
“Writer Lydia Diamond brings these characters together in this sharp, witty play about social and sexual politics,” Parker said.
Due to adult language and situations, the play is recommended for ages 16 and up.
Director D Norris is enthusiastic about the production: “I have really enjoyed directing this cast in ‘Smart People.’ I think audiences will really enjoy the humor and the message that is buried beneath it.”
“I think that the writing in the show is brilliant," said Live Arts Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Andre Eaton, Jr. "Lydia Diamond does an amazing job at crafting these witty, authentic and intelligent characters.”
The fact that the play is being distributed through Zoom is advantageous for the theatre company in being easily accessible to people beyond the Gwinnett area, giving easy access to new audiences.
“I love the fact that we can bring this poignant show to a wide medium," stage manager Blair Sanders said. "It’s exciting that we can expand our reach through Zoom and make an impact in various communities, especially our own.”
Diamond wrote the play in 2016. The work shows that no matter how well we think we understand the influence of race on human interaction, it still manages to affect communication and connection.
As their relationships evolve, the four characters discover that their motivations and interpretations are not as pure as their wealth of knowledge would have them believe.
The four “Smart People” are portrayed by actors Ashley D. Brooks, Evan Greene, Justin McCoy, and Jobina Sitoh.
Go to www.liveartstheatre.org for information on upcoming Live Arts Theatre’s events.