Quiana Smith '00 is in the spotlight on Broadway and off.
“I don’t know where I am, but I’m here.”
That’s what Quiana “Q” Smith ’00 remembers going through her head the first time she set foot, as a transfer student, on the
Now, more than nine years later, she laughs about her first meeting with the school that would shape her life, both personally and professionally. “A lot of things I do today revolve around my time at
One of the first two African American women to receive a B.F.A. in musical theater from the College, Q found herself in the whirlwind world of professional theater shortly after graduation and spent the next several years on regional, national, and international tours.
In January 2001 Smith decided suddenly to leave her hometown of
After a few hours of sleep on a friend’s floor, she got up and auditioned for four shows. She got callbacks from all of them—and offers from three. She chose a national tour of Smokey Joe’s Café with Gladys Knight, launching her career into the big leagues—where she’s been ever since.
In October the BET J (the “J” is for jazz”) channel aired the miniseries A Royal Birthday, in which Q played Lauren, a spunky single mother joining her girlfriends on a
In between these gigs, Q has been researching and writing a book she calls Queens of Theater, exploring the experiences of women of color in the field. And she is planning a fundraiser (“likely a cabaret or one-woman show”) for the
“Life is so short, and I’ve learned it’s not always about me,” says Q. “I’m one tiny speck in this world, and if I can do anything to help people, I will. I know how important it is to have dreams—and a support system [to help realize] those dreams.”
She’s quick to credit