Something About the Director

Chuck Smith (Director) was awarded the 2011 Lloyd Richards Directing Award at the National Black Theater Festival which featured his hit  production of Knock Me a Kiss, winner of  nine 2011  Harlem Audelco awards, including Director of a Dramatic production and Dramatic Production of the Year.

MPAACT and Goodman Theatre’s Resident Director is an associate producer of Legacy Productions, a Chicago-based touring company. Smith’s Goodman credits include the Chicago premieres of Race, The Good Negro, Proof and The Story; the world premieres of By the Music of the Spheres and The Gift Horse; James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner, which transferred to Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company where it won the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award for Best Direc­tion; Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun; Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’; the 1993 to 1995 productions of A Christmas Carol; Crumbs From the Table of Joy; Vivisections from a Blown Mind; and The Meeting.

He served as dramaturg for the world-premiere production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the Goodman. He directed  the New York premiere of Knock Me a Kiss and The Hooch for the New Federal Theatre and the world premiere of Knock Me a Kiss at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, where his other directing credits include Master Harold…and the Boys, Home, Dame Lorraine with the late Esther Rolle and Eden, for which he received a Jeff Award nomination for best direction.

Regionally, Smith directed Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Birdie Blue at Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Story at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Blues for an Alabama Sky at Alabama Shakespeare Festival and The Last Season for The Robey Theatre Com­pany in Los Angeles. At Columbia College he was facilitator of the Theodore Ward Prize playwriting contest for 20 years and editor of the contest anthologies Seven Black Plays and Best Black Plays.

He won a Chicago Emmy Award as associate producer/theatrical director for the NBC teleplay Crime of Innocence, and was theatrical director for the Emmy Award-winning Fast Break to Glory and the Emmy Award-nominated The Martin Luther King Suite. He was a founding member of the Chicago Theatre Company, where he served as artistic director for four seasons and directed the Jeff Award-nominated Suspenders and the Jeff Award-winning musical Po’. His directing credits include productions at ETA; Black Ensemble Theater; Northlight Theatre; MPAACT; Congo Square Theatre Company; The New Regal Theater; Kuumba Theatre Company; Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre; Pega­sus Players; the Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll, Illinois; the Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix, Arizona;

Mr. Smith is a 2003 inductee into the Chicago State University Gwendolyn Brooks Center’s Literary Hall of Fame and a 2001 Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year. He is the proud recipient of the 1982 Paul Robeson Award and the 1997 Award of Merit presented by the Black Theater Alliance of Chicago. He is cur­rently a board member of the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago.