Check out this piece in American Theatre by OHIO alum Jerald Raymond Pierce about our own Charles Smith and his long-time friend and collaborator Chuck Smith. Apparently Chicago is big enough to feature two award-winning theater professionals named Smith, Charles, yet also small enough that it isn’t often that one is confused for the other… Just one of the many things that makes Chicago unique as a theatre town: Chuck Smith, Charles Smith, and a South Side Friendship.
Charles Smith’s plays have been produced Off-Broadway and nationally by theaters such as Indiana Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, New Federal Theatre, The Acting Company, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Penumbra, Crossroads Theatre Company, Penguin Repertory Theatre, Ujima Theatre Company, The Colony Theatre, St. Louis Black Rep, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Jubilee Theatre, Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Robey Theatre Company, and Berkeley Repertory Theater. His most recent play, Objects in the Mirror, received a developmental production at Goodman Theatre in 2016 and returned as part of the 2016-17 season. (Listen to a discussion of the play on NPR’s Weekend Edition.) His play, Black Star Line, was commissioned by and also produced by Goodman. Nine of his plays received their world premiere productions at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. Three of his plays, The Gospel According to James, Sister Carrie, and Les Trois Dumas, were all commissioned and produced by Indiana Repertory Theatre. Les Trois Dumas was also produced by People’s Light & Theatre, and by Independent Theatre in Adelaide, South Australia. His play Pudd’nhead Wilson, commissioned and produced by The Acting Company, enjoyed a twenty-two city national tour before being produced Off-Broadway. His plays Takundaand City of Gold enjoyed tours of the west coast. His work has also been produced for the HBO New Writers Project, the International Children’s Theater Festival in Seattle, and The National Black Theatre Festival. He is author of two Emmy Award-winning teleplays, Fast Break to Gloryand Pequito. His other plays include, Freefall, The Sutherland, Jelly Belly, Young Richard, Cane, and Free Man of Color, which was also produced in Australia, New York, Los Angeles, and around the United States after receiving a Joseph Jefferson Award. He has received the John W. Schmid Award for Outstanding New Work, two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Governors Award, Princess Grace Fellowship, the Cornerstone National Playwriting Award, the Joyce Award, The National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the Theodore Ward National Playwriting Award, two Black Theatre Alliance Awards for New Work, the NBC New Voices Award, and numerous other AUDELCO, Jeff, NAACP, and Black Theatre Alliance award nominations. For more information about his plays, visit http://www.csplays.com.