Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alum A.C. Smith ’86, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Theatre, is featured in August Wilson’s drama Gem of the Ocean, running January 22 through February 27 at the Goodman Theatre, located at 170 N. Randolph in downtown Chicago’s Loop Theatre District. The play–the first installment of “The Pittsburgh Cycle,” Wilson’s epic, decade-by-decade, ten-play chronicle of the African-American experience in the 20th century–concerns a former slave in early-20th-century Pittsburgh. Smith plays the ex-slave’s former comrade in the Union Army during the Civil War — a role he played in a 2015 production of the play at Court Theatre in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Smith has performed extensively in plays by August Wilson at theatres in Chicago and around the country. He is the winner of two Joseph Jefferson Awards (Chicago’s top theatrical award) for his performances in Wilson’s Fences (2006) and King Hedley II (2020) at Court Theatre.
The production is directed by former Columbia College Theatre Department faculty member Chuck Smith.