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Art Forms & Theatre Concepts to Present “Smart People”



Press Release

Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, Inc., the premiere African American Theater Company in the Lowcountry, celebrates its 28th year of telling the African American’s stories on the stages of the Lowcountry with its production of “Smart People.”

“Smart People” by Lydia R. Diamond is a delightful dramatic comedy telling the story of Four intelligent, attractive, and opinionated young urban professionals attending a special program at Harvard University. a doctor, an actor, a psychologist, and a neurobiologist studying the human brain’s response to race. This powerful and exciting story has lots of twists and turns that will have you chuckling aloud as the stories in the story evolves.

The production takes place on the eve of Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Election, when four hyper-intelligent Cambridge residents find that despite their best intentions upon broaching the subject, the topic of race is a treacherous one, full of stumbles and wrong turns.

Brian White, played by Matthew Hasty, is a neuroscientist studying the brain’s responses to race and its societal implications. While Ginny, played by Demi Johnson is a psychiatrist who is studying low-income Asian-American women’s reaction to stress, She is of Chinese-Japanese-American ancestry.  Jackson Moore, played by Dakare Chatman, is a young doctor, who has opened a clinic for low-income patients, and. Valerie Johnston, played by Michelle Powe is a very talented actor, who is struggling to make ends meet by working as a maid, while waiting for another big break. 

Through bright, funny dialogue and fast-paced vignettes, Director Art Gilliard brings playwright Lydia Diamond’s quartet of complicated characters to vibrant life. while each is searching for love, success, and identity, as they each bull-headedly pursue their professional and personal goals, they also find that issues of self-awareness, identity, and race are obstacles that even “smart people” can’t seem to avoid.

The production will be held at the Cannon Street Arts Center, 134 Cannon Street in downtown Charleston. Performance dates are:

  • Thursday, February 16th, 8 pm
  • Friday, February 17th, 8 pm
  • Saturday, February 18th, 6 pm
  • Sunday, February 19th, 4 pm
  • Thursday, February 23rd, 8 pm
  • Friday, February 24th, 8 pm
  • Saturday, February 25th, 2 pm
  • Sunday February 26th, 4 pm

Visit to purchase tickets. For more information call (843) 329-9978.

Founded in October of 1995, Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, Inc. is a 501 c (3) not for profit organization with the mission of presenting musicals, dramas, and comedies detailing the African American experience.

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