‘Smart People’ Grapple Awkwardly With Race in Denver Center Play

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Photo: Denver Center, DCPA, Smart People
Timothy McCracken, Jason Veasey, Esther Chen and Tatiana Williams star in DCPA's production of "Smart People."

What's the root of racism? And where do prejudices come from?

Research by a Princeton University neuropsychologist on those questions inspired playwright Lydia R. Diamond to write her 2014 play "Smart People." The Denver Center for the Performing Arts presents the show through Nov. 19 at the Ricketson Theatre. It's a comedy that follows four Harvard intellectuals who learn that having high IQs doesn't help them navigate conversations about race and identity.

The DCPA Theater Company's associate artistic director, Nataki Garrett, directs the production. She tells Colorado Matters the characters in the play often have the best of intentions -- a real desire to change the world for the better -- but are misguided.