Smart People

by  Lydia R. Diamond

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  2m, 2f

"...a sexy, serious, and very, very funny modern-day comedy of manners." - Variety

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 2f
  • Duration


    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

It is the eve of Obama's first election. Four of Harvard University's brightest; a surgeon, an actress, a psychologist, and a neuro-psychiatrist, are all interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to race. But like all smart people, they are also searching for love, success, and identity in their own lives. Lydia Diamond brings these characters together in this sharp, witty play about social and sexual politics.
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"...a sexy, serious, and very, very funny modern-day comedy of manners." - Variety, Read More 

"...crisp and clever dialogue...Smart People is very funny because it reflects a very sympathetic human foible; the desire to resolve our racial conflicts without messing things up every time we open our mouths." -, Read More 

"Smart People is a great ride; I loved every talky minute of it." - Deadline, Read More 

"Splendid! Diamond...draw[s] laughs even as she firmly pushes back against the notion that we’re living in a 'post-racial society.'" - Boston Globe, Read More 


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Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre


  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: 2007-2009. Cambridge, MA.  Various locations. 
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


2m, 2f
VALERIE JOHNSTON - 24, African American.  Recently graduated A.R.T.  Acting MFA.
JACKSON MOORE - 28, African American.  Harvard Med School.  Surgical Intern on Rotation.
BRIAN WHITE - 36-42, White. Tenured professor at Harvard. Neuro-psychiatrist. Studies patterns of racial identity and perceptions. 
GINNY YOUNG - 34-40, Chinese-Japanese American.  No accent.  Only speaks English.  Respected tenured professor of psychology at Harvard. Studies race and identity among Asian American women.
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Asian Actor(s)
  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Ensemble cast



Lydia R. Diamond

LYDIA R. DIAMOND Award winning Plays include: Smart People, Stick Fly, Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye, The Gift Horse, Harriet Jacobs, The Inside, and Stage Black. Theatres include: Arena Stage, Cort Theatre (Broadway), Chicago Dramatists, Company One, Congo Square, Goodman, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Jubilee, Kan ...

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Smart People premiered at the Huntington Theatre in Boston in May of 2014 under the direction of Peter DuBois.

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