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Whether he’s directing plays, tailoring shows for small crowds in tiny spaces or planning his first season as the artistic director of downtown institution the Flea Theater, this 35-year-old wants to build community and push boundaries. “We can have all of the entertainment we want, and that’ll pass the time, but that’s all it’s going to do,” says Smith. “I want to see work that challenges audiences, explores form, takes risks.” And the North Carolina native has made that, having had a hand in everything from the Tony Award–winning Fela! to new subversive comedy Hir, starring and written by pal—and local fave—Taylor Mac.
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