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Charles Smith’s plays include, Freefall, The Sutherland, Black Star Line, 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. Free Man of Color was also awarded the Joseph Jefferson Award and a John W. Schmid Award, both for Outstanding New Work. 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 has also been produced by People’s Light & Theatre and by Independent Theatre in Adelaide, South Australia. His play, Denmark, was the inaugural production of the reopening of Victory Gardens Theater at the Biograph, and 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 have also been produced by theatres such as Goodman Theatre, New Federal Theatre, 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, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland. He has received the Illinois Arts Council Governors Award, Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence 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.As alumnus playwright of New Dramatists, graduate of the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and founding member of the Playwrights Ensemble at the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, he is currently head of the Professional Playwriting Program at Ohio University.
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