Lydia R. Diamond
In April of 1969, Lydia Diamond was born Lydia Gartin in Detroit, Michigan. After her parents divorced at a young age, Lydia was raised chiefly by her mother, who was a musician. Since she grew up in a very artistic family, Lydia always found herself drawn to the arts. Her artistic inclinations kept her company as she and her mother moved to wherever her mother’s work took them. Though her family hoped she might follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and play the violin, she turned to theatre instead after joining the drama club in high school. It wasn’t until her college years at Northwestern University that Lydia discovered a love of playwriting as well.
While she was at Northwestern, Lydia received the Agnes Nixon Playwriting Award for her first play, Solitaire. In 1991, Lydia graduated with a B.A. in Performance Studies and met John Diamond, whom she would marry in 1996. After graduating, she founded her own theatre company, Another Small Black Theatre Company With Good Things To Say and A Lot of Nerve Productions, putting up several of her own plays in Chicago and expanding her playwriting repertoire.
Shortly after the birth of their son in 2004, the Diamonds moved to Boston for John’s job. There, Lydia made a name for herself as a playwright, but found it somewhat difficult to adjust to the new location, missing her support system back in Chicago. Despite this, she began to thrive, with Company One in Boston producing her adaptation of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Boston University inviting her to teach. A year later, the same company produced her play Voyeurs de Venus which shares themes of beauty and racial tensions with The Bluest Eye.
Since the production of The Bluest Eye, Diamond has become well-known and well-liked in playwriting circles. Her play Stick Fly, produced by Alicia Keys, played on Broadway in 2011 and 2012 and in 2017, The Bluest Eye was produced by the Guthrie Theater in Minnesota.
Today, Lydia Diamond is known both as a playwright and a professor. She has received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award as well as countless other accolades. She often incorporates underrepresented perspectives and adaptations into her work, making her the perfect person to bring The Bluest Eye from the page to the stage.