Artistic Director Michael Stevenson &
|by Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Judith Moreland**
Live Theatre & Virtually On Demand
June 22 - July 24, 2022
Performance Length: 2 Hours, 15 Minutes, One Intermission
|Assistant Stage Manager
|Sponsored by Dan Brunner
“Smart People” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com
|*Member Actors' Equity Association
|**Member Stage Directors & Choreographers Society
Capital Stage’s mission is to entertain, engage and challenge our audience with bold, thought provoking theatre.
THINGS TO KNOW
To attend a performance everyone in your party must present proof of vaccination for COVID-19 (with a second dose at least 14 days prior to the date of the performance), plus a booster (if eligible and 6 months after your final dose) with a valid photo ID. Masks are currently required while COVID case levels are high in Sacramento County. If cases remain at high or medium risk-levels, masks will be required. Visit our COVID-19 Safety Protocols & Procedures Page to stay up to date.
Recording and photography of any kind are prohibited at Capital Stage.
Patrons are asked to turn communication devices off upon entering the theatre.
LATE SEATING & RE-SEATING:
Due to the design of our theatre, we cannot guarantee seating for late arrivals or for patrons who leave the theatre during the performance. As a courtesy to our artists and our audiences, late arrivals will be seated in a suitable location by our staff if possible and at the appropriate intervals.
Only concession items purchased in the Wine & Dessert Bar are allowed in the patio and lobby areas.
Capital Stage is noted for bringing intimate bold productions to our region and we encourage young adults to experience a live performance. Children age sixteen and up are welcome at Capital Stage unless specifically noted in the production’s description.
Seating locations at Capital Stage for patrons using wheelchairs or with a disability are located in the first row. Tickets for these seats may be purchased in person or by calling the Box Office at 916-995-5464.
Restroom facilities are located in the lounge behind the Wine & Dessert Bar.
Brochures and information about upcoming Capital Stage productions and events are available in the box office or by visiting capstage.org.
Capital Stage is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
Capital Stage is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre.
Capital Stage is a member of the National New Play Network, the country’s alliance of leading nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production and continued life of new plays.
Capital Stage is a member of Blue Star Theatres, offering discounts to Military personnel, Military family members, and Veterans.
SDC is the theatrical union that unites, empowers, and protects professional Stage Directors and Choreographers throughout the United States.
About The Play
by Stephanie Tucker, PhD.
Lydia Diamond started writing Smart People in 2007, the year Barack Obama announced his candidacy for presidency, inevitably foregrounding issues of race in these United States. 2007 is also the year Smart People opens. Set in ”various locations in Cambridge, Massachusetts,” Smart People begins with a “Prologue” in which Diamond introduces her four characters, all of whom are connected to Harvard University: Valerie Johnston, an actress and recent recipient of an MFA from Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre; Dr. Jackson Moore, an intern on surgical rotation at the Medical School; Dr. Ginny Yang, a tenured psychology professor, who studies anxiety and depression among Asian-American women; and, the protagonist, Dr. Brian White, a tenured neuro-psychiatrist, who researches the physical and chemical activity of the brain as it pertains to racial identity—or, more simply, a possible biological explanation for racism. Four very “smart” people, indeed.
During the course of the play, these four, all strangers at play’s start, discuss their various professional pursuits and dilemmas, befriend one another, and help one another out—or try to. Given their various ethnicities, Valerie and Jackson are African-American, Ginny is Chinese-Japanese-American, and Brian is white, each has a professional and personal interest in the subject of race—topics still being discussed and debated among academics and scientists in 2022.
Yet this topic is not alone in giving Smart People its timeliness and relevance. Diamond does a brilliant job of using the stage to enlighten the audience, and the characters themselves, using a variety of metatheatrical techniques. At times, two or more characters are on stage simultaneously: “Everyone in his/her separate area,” to quote a stage direction. Short scenes of single characters shed light on aspects of their beings—always tellingly. Longer scenes tend to dramatize significant relational issues, and the penultimate scene provides a terrific climactic moment. As varied as they are, the scenes are brilliantly interwoven into a narrative whole.
Having a character, who’s an actor, also emphasizes the theatricality of the piece—and here, Valerie’s roles shed light on this play’s themes. When we first meet her, Valerie’s in rehearsal for a production of Julius Caesar, in which she plays Portia, the wife of Brutus, “the noblest Roman of them all,” whose part in Caesar’s assassination is driven by what he believed to be the good of Rome. Towards play’s end, Valerie gets a part in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, whose protagonist, Dr.Thomas Stockmann, becomes “an enemy” to those around him as he fails to make social reform—the result of his outspoken arrogance—not unlike Smart People’s protagonist, Brian—all privileged, socially upstanding men with noble goals.
A contemporary comedy of manners, Smart People does indeed examine the foibles, and strengths, of its four characters, and does so with humor, compassion, and clear sightedness. All are well meaning, hardworking and driven in their pursuit of professional accomplishments. And all are bedeviled by various aspects of racism. Diamond has said:
I have always spoken to my work being about the intersection of race and class and sexuality, but I always kind of back-ended into it. I started this play and I thought, you know what? This is about race. I’m not going to pretend it’s a play that’s just about how these people who just happen to be these different races bounce off each other and such is landscape of America and blah blah blah. This is my “there it is” kind of play.
And “there it is”, indeed. Thought-provoking, theatrical and deeply moving, Smart People may be about four highly intelligent and motivated people, but they (and those off-stage characters with whom they interact) reflect, sympathetically, feelings and thoughts with which those of us in the audience can identify—and empathize, and wrestle. Enjoy this very smart play!
Lydia R. Diamond
Anthony E Gabrielson*
Samantha McLean Haas
Stephanie Tucker, PhD
Jim Hensley, President Abbey Flooring, Inc.
Oak Park Brewing Company
Production Manager/Asst. Stage Manager - KATHERINE CANNON*
Technical Director - CARLOS LLONTOP
Lead Carpenter - RICH KIRLIN
Scenic Charge Artist - SAMANTHA McLEAN HAAS
Sound Designer & Engineer - ED LEE
Lead Electrician - MARI OYAIZU CARSON
Literary Manager/Dramaturg - STEPHANIE TUCKER, PhD.
Stage Manager - ANTHONY E GABRIELSON*
Production Assistant - NICK RABORN^
Assistant to the Director/Asst. Dramaturg - KADEN ZALDUMBIDE^
Intimacy Director - LIZ FREDERICK
Properties & Sound Assistant - ANDREW FRIDAE^
Lighting Assistant & Crew Swing - RAND DOERNING^
Properties & Costume Assistant - CECILIA CASTILLO JUAREZ^
Dresser & Run Crew - YASMINE SALMERON
Build Crew - RAND DOERNING^, ANDREW FRIDAE^, CECILIA CASTILLO JUAREZ^, RICH KIRLIN, ALEX MARTINEZ, NICHOLAS RABORN^, KAITLIN WEINSTEIN^, KADEN ZALDUMBIDE^
COVID-19 Safety Managers - KATIE CANNON, ELIJAH PETERS, RUBY SKETCHLEY
Graphic Designer - MISTY MCDOWELL
Photographer - CHARR CRAIL
Videographer/Editor - MISTY MCDOWELL
Webmaster - MISTY MCDOWELL
^ Capital Stage Apprentice | * Member Actors' Equity Association
Meet the Company
James R. Ellison, III
Lydia R. Diamond
Anthony E Gabrielson*
Samantha McLean Haas
Stephanie Tucker, PhD
ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA)
Founded in 1913, this union represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.
Capital Stage Staff
MICHAEL STEVENSON - Artistic Director
KEITH RIEDELL - Managing Director
KATIE CANNON - Production & Company Manager
MISTY MCDOWELL - Marketing Manager
AALIYAH PETERS - Audience Services Manager
CARLOS LLONTOP - Technical Director
ED LEE - Resident Sound Designer & Engineer
RICH KIRLIN - Lead Carpenter
LOGAN HELLER, CHRIS SAECHAO – Box Office Assistants
RUBY SKETCHLEY – Front of House Assistant
ALYSSA MARIE MATHEWS - Concessions Associate
JAMIE JONES, PETER MOHRMANN, GAIL RUSSELL, JANIS STEVENS – Associate Artists
RAND DOERNING, ANDREW FRIDAE, ANA MUNTEAN, KAITLIN WIENSTEIN, CECILIA CASTILLO JUAREZ, NICHOLAS RABORN, KADEN ZALDUMBIDE - Apprentices
ELIJAH PETERS, RUBY SKETCHLEY - COVID Safety Officers
Capital Stage Board Members
Chastity E. Benson
California State Association of Counties
National Grape Research Alliance
Dan Brunner, Treasurer
Seed Communications Design
Kathryn E. Doi
Hanson Bridgett LLP
Sherry Hartel Haus
Kristi Quesada Mathisen
Sacramento Country Day School
Lori Abbott Moreland
Damaris L. Perez
Mike Tentis, Board President
UC Davis Strategic Communications
California Hospital Association
Stephanie Gularte, Founding Artistic Director
Peter Mohrmann, Co-founder
Jonathan Williams, Co-Founder