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Charles (1) Smith

CHARLES (1) SMITH

  

Nationality:    African American
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    The Barbara Hogenson Agency, Inc  

Charles Smith was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. His plays explore issues surrounding the perceptions of race and politics from an African-American point-of-view. Much of his work spans from the investigations of historic icons such as Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois, and Alexandre Dumas, to examinations of race and politics in more contemporary settings such as the impact of the end of segregation on Chicago's Southside

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below is a list of Charles (1) Smith's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Black Star Line         Cane         City Of Gold         Denmark         Free Man Of Color         Freed         Freefall         Golden Leaf Ragtime Blues         Gospel According to James, The         Jelly Belly         Knock Me A Kiss         Les Trois Dumas         Pudd'nhead Wilson         Sister Carrie         Sutherland, The         Takunda         Young Richard



Black Star Line

Synopsis:
Chronicles the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Back to Africa movement of the 1920's. Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant to the United States, founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). At a time when W.E.B. Du Bois and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were arguing that African Americans should claim their full rights as US citizens, Garvey was pushing for a separate black sovereign nation in the African state of Liberia.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
the Goodman Theatre, Chicago    1996

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  16            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Cane

Synopsis:
A patchwork of stories, poems, and Dramatic interludes, the novel was considered a landmark work of the Harlem Renaissance, the period of artistic blossoming in the 1920's when black intellectuals began to explore their identity. the play brings the novel to life by featuring 10 actors in nearly 40 roles in a blend of Drama, dance and music including old spirituals and a capElla songs connected by the lyrical, rhythmic, vaguely hallucinatory voice of the author.

Notes:
adaptation of Jean Toomer's 1923 novel of the same name.

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
105 min Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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City Of Gold

Synopsis:
This play questions people's perspective of Christopher Columbus; his life, his deeds, and his relationship with the native Taino tribe whose life and customs Columbus documented when he arrived in the Americas. City of Gold explores the idea that Columbus was neither a glorified hero nor an evil conqueror, but a multi-faceted human who was caught in a difficult, complex situation.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Seattle Repertory Theatre, TYA contract    1992

Company:
-

1st Published:
in International Plays for Young Audiences, edited by Roger Ellis, Meriwether Publishing, Ltd., 2000   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  cast of 5

Further Reference:
-

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Denmark

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Free Man Of Color

Synopsis:
the story of John Newton Templeton, an ex-slave who attended Ohio University and graduated in 1828, thirty-five years before the end of slavery. When John Newton Templeton is unexpectedly freed after his master's death, he migrates to the free state of Ohio where he meets the Presbyterian minister Robert Wilson, an avowed abolitionist. Wilson, who had taken on the challenge of serving as president of the then fledging Ohio University, saw the opportunity to use the promising young ex-slave to prove to the pro-slavery factions in America that African-Americans were capable of the same academic excellence as whites. President Wilson brings Templeton to his home in Athens, Ohio where Templeton works as the president's personal "student servant" while attending classes. Although Templeton excels in most areas of study, his achievements in other areas are quite different than what Wilson had wanted, needed, and expected. In this play about race, culture, and the differences between education and assimilation in America, Wilson is forced to reevaluate his abolitionist views and Templeton is forced to examine the reason he was chosen to be the "first."

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
120 min Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Freed

Synopsis:
This new play by Charles Smith is based on the true story of John Newton Templeton, the first African American to attend college in the Midwest, 40 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. the story of John Newton Templeton is extraordinary. He went on to become the first teacher, and later principal, of the African School in Pittsburgh, the first school for African American children in the city. A relentless political activist, he was also co-editor of the Mystery, a newspaper "dedicated to the fight for freedom and political emancipation."
- nytheatre.com

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
the Penguin Rep Theatre

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Freefall

Synopsis:
story of two brother who exist in radically different social milieus

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1993

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, NY,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Golden Leaf Ragtime Blues

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1987

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Gospel According to James, The

Synopsis:
It's 1930 in Indiana and five young people are eager to break out of their small town. they need a car. they have a gun. But years later, contradictory memories are all that's left of their grand plans. the Gospel According to James is based on the double lynching immortalized by the iconic Lawrence Beitler photograph. the play creates a fictional meeting between the man who survived the lynching and the only woman with them that night. As the Gospel Dramatizes the events leading up to the crime, it explores how unreliable personal memory underlies what we believe to be an immutable public history.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Indiana Repertory theatre    2011

Company:
-

1st Published:
Ohio University Press   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Jelly Belly

Synopsis:
Jelly Belly is a powerful story of a convict returning from a brief prison stay to resume his position as the neighborhood kingpin. In the New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote Jelly Belly offers an unremittingly bleak portrait of inner-city life and the enormous pressure on working-class black men to be gangsters.

Notes:
An early version of Jelly Belly won the 1985 Cornerstone Playwriting Award And was produced by Penumbra theatre Company in St. Paul in1986

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
95 min Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Knock Me A Kiss

Synopsis:
a fictional account inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois's daughter Yolande to one of Harlem's great poets, Countee Cullen. the marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of Negro talent and beauty. It united the daughter of America's foremost black intellectual, cofounder of the NAACP and publisher of Crisis Magazine, with a young poet whose work was considered to be one of the flagships for the New Negro movement. the play opens as jazz bandleader, Jimmy Lunceford, pursues a willing but apprehensive Yolande. She demurs, insisting that she and Jimmy be married in a manner consistent with her stature. Meanwhile, Du Bois tries to convince Countee Cullen to take a wife of great breeding, stature and education. When Countee realizes that Yolande appears to possess all of the attributes outlined by the elder Du Bois, he sets out to win her affection. When Yolande is forced to choose between her passion for Jimmy and marrying Countee, her overwhelming devotion to her Father overpowers her heart. the marriage is a triumph of pomp and pageantry, but fails to be a union of man and woman. Finally, Yolande and Countee go their separate ways: Countee travels to Paris with his close friend Harold Jackman and Yolande goes back to Jimmy only to find that she is no longer wanted.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Dramatic Publishing,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
120 min Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Les Trois Dumas

Synopsis:
Three generations of notorious Dumas appear in this swashbuckling play filled with tales of war, sword fights, masked balls and romantic escapades. General Thomas Dumas, the son of a French aristocrat and a black servant woman, was one of Napoleon's most prized generals. After suspecting Napoleon of being self-centered and covetous, the French-African General was denounced by Napoleon, branded a defector, disavowed, and consequently died penniless. Years later, his son, Alexander Dumas pere, author of the Three Musketeers, lives a life as daring and full of intrigue as the characters in his own plays and novels. While pere indulges in scandalous intrigue and occasional debauchery, his son, Alexander Dumas fils, struggles to come to terms with his father's apparent immoral lifestyle, his own racial heritage, and rumors of his grandfather's defection. Dumas fils' conflict is complicated further when a mysterious slanderer defames Dumas pere's literary integrity as well as his African heritage. To satisfy his son, Dumas pere challenges the mysterious slanderer to a duel at a masquerade ball where the three Dumas meet and the true identities of all are revealed.

Notes:
Translated into Croatian for Croatian Radio, 1998

1st Produced:
the People's Light and Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa    2001

Company:
-

1st Published:
Dramatic Publishing,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
3 acts 2hr 40 min Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Pudd'nhead Wilson

Synopsis:
It is the story of the two sons of Judge Driscoll, the chief citizen of Dawson's Landing, Missouri. Tom is his legal heir and the child of his wife; Chambers is his child by the slave girl Roxy. When Driscoll threatens to sell Roxy's son , she switches the babies in their cradles. the two boys grow up with each other's identities - creating a situation both richly ironic and ultimately tragic.

Notes:
stage Adaptation And reinterpretation of the Mark Twain novel of the same name

1st Produced:
the Acting Company    2001

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
130 min Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sister Carrie

Synopsis:
It is the story of Carrie Meeber, an impressionable young girl who leaves the insulated confines of rural Wisconsin in the early 1900's and enters the throbbing, amoral world of the big city. Soon her yearning for an honorable life and for lasting love is compromised. Each attempt to reconcile her dreams with reality forces Carrie into ever-more tangled affairs until she is forced to contend with the deep and driving forces of American culture, its restless idealism and its glamorous material temptations.

Notes:
adaptation of the theodore Dreiser novel of the same name

1st Produced:
Indiana Repertory theatre    2002

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
3 acts 3 hours Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sutherland, The

Synopsis:
A promising young musician, Eugene Taylor, comes of age in the midst of Chicago's Southside jazz scene of the 1950's with musical royalty Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane as his role models. Having embarked on a six month European tour, he returns 15 years later after being seduced by the European's appreciation of jazz and the love of a Viennese woman. While abroad he hears of the race riots of the sixties, but not until he returns does he witnesses the devastating results; the black flight to the suburbs and the decline of the inner city neighborhood which was once his home. In a move to resolve both his absence and his current existence, Eugene goes on a crUSAde to save the Sutherland Show Lounge, once a mecca of Chicago's south side jazz scene.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1999   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
105 min Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Takunda

Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Takunda's world is turned upside down when her Father is arrested for his political activities in the turbulent Rhodesia of 1973. A coming of age story for our complex times, Takunda carries a message of hope and courage. the play employs authentic African folk tales and songs, an ensemble of four black actors, and the lively art of storytelling.

Notes:
aka Tales of Africa

1st Produced:
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' Imaginary Theatre Company    1987

Company:
-

1st Published:
Plays In Process, Theatre Communications Group, New York, 1988   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
For Schools, 50 min

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Young Richard

Synopsis:
a play about the social and political issues that plague America. Richard is a young black writer whose patron, a white business man, abruptly withdraws his financial aid when Richard's writings turn to world issues rather than the "black issues" the politically correct patron wishes to support. After blaming the world's ills on larger entities such as corporations and figure heads, Richard ultimately discovers something about himself and personal responsibility.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
St. Louis Black Repertory Company    1991

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
105 min Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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