Reading Stage presents SMART PEOPLE

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CCCT is pleased to announce the return of its popular Reading Stage, this time as a Zoom series for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Begun in 2015, Reading Stage offers an opportunity for audiences to focus on hearing some of the most thrilling works in contemporary theatre. Each new theatrical project begins at some point with a “table read” as the actors and creative team get together and read the script which forms the basis for the work they’ll do to bring a text to life. Reading Stage brings some of the best actors and riveting scripts together to create an unforgettable evening of theatre.

Reading Stage is underwritten, in part, through the generous contributions of Marcia and Joe Grossman, Gary Langbehn and Jerry Power, and Debbie Chinn.




by Lydia R. Diamond

Monday, August 3, 7 pm

Featuring Mark Flolo, James Glass, Nori Patterson, and Katie Tupper

Directed by Gary Stanford, Jr.

Tickets: Free (suggested donation $10)




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. Smart People brings these characters together in this sharp, witty play about social and sexual politics.

Smart People is a non-Equity production presented as a benefit for CCCT.


Mark Flolo

Mark Flolo is ecstatic to be performing in his first show with Contra Costa Civic Theatre’s production of Smart People. The acting bug bit Mark back in the 1980s after experiencing Les Misérables in San Francisco at the Curran Theatre! Mark enjoys the collaborative efforts that it takes to create. He is just as passionate about what the audience does not see as what they do see during a show. “It takes a village, or better yet a family that cares.” Previous shows include: You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Les Misérables, Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Bullets Over Broadway and, most recently, The Phantom of the Opera as Monsieur Andre’. Mark thanks his mother, father, and dear friends for their love and support!


James Glass

James “G” Glass is excited to make his debut with Contra Costa Civic Theatre in Smart People playing Jackson Moore. He previously appeared in Juke Joint Jukebox with the North California Arts Collective as well as The Wiz with Sunnyvale Community Players, and Evan in Sweat with Pear Theatre. G is a 22-year Military Veteran currently serving in the Active Guard Reserve program.


Nori Patterson

Nori Patterson, who plays Valerie, is delighted to be making her debut with CCCT. Her previous credits include performances in One Day: On the Road to the ADA, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, and Fame. She is a recent graduate from the University of Redlands, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Visual Culture studies with a minor in Sociology and Anthropology. She is a consumer stylist for Levi Strauss & Co.


Katie Tupper

Katie Tupper is the President of San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of NATS, a member of the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance, and co-creator of the recent Voices In Action: Artists Against Oppression Fundraising Concert for the NAACPLDF. She has a BA in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington and an MM in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. She maintains a full-time private voice studio. Roles have included, ‘Sister Mary Theresa’ in Sister Act, the chorus in Hunchback of Notre Dame, ‘Maria’ in West Side Story, ‘Luisa’ in The Fantasticks, ‘June’ in Joy Luck Club (stage adaptation), ‘Little Red’ in Into The Woods, ’Lena’ in Family Matters (new work), and many more. Katie thanks her loving family for always supporting her passion work. BLM!



Lydia R. Diamond‘s 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, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Lorraine Hansberry, McCarter, Mo’Olelo, MPAACT, New Vic, Playmakers Rep, Plowshares, Second Stage, Steppenwolf, and TrueColors. Commissions include: Arena Stage, Steppenwolf (4), McCarter, Huntington, Center Stage, Victory Gardens and The Roundabout.

A recipient of many playwriting awards, Lydia was also an ’05/’06 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, an 06/07 Huntington Playwright Fellow and a 2012 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor. She is a Board Member at Chicago Dramatists and a 2012/2013 Radcliffe Institute Fellow.

Lydia is an NU graduate (’91), has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Pine Manor College and is 2013-14 Playwright in Residence at Arena Stage.



This is Gary Stanford, Jr.’s directorial debut with CCCT and is excited to be working during COVID Season. He just recently co-choreographed Bring It On with 42nd Street MoonSchool and directed Les Miserables (Student Edition) with Throckmorton Theater. He has been working in the theater industry as an actor/director/choreographer for 30+ years and looks forward to getting back on stage one day safely and soon!!


This post was written by CCCT