Lydia R. Diamond
Lydia R. Diamond
(© David Gordon)

Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith has announced that Lydia R. Diamond will become a resident playwright as part of the American Voices New Play Institute at the Mead Center for American Theater. Diamond will enter the yearlong program Tuesday, October 1. She joins a prestigious group of playwrights that includes the original resident writers Amy Freed (Freedomland), Katori Hall (The Mountaintop), Lisa Kron (Well), Charles Randolph-Wright (The Night Is a Child), and Karen Zacarías (The Book Club Play), as well as Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale), who joined for a yearlong residency in December 2012.

Previously a full-time professor at Boston University, Diamond has written a body of work that includes Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye, The Gift Horse, and Stick Fly, which transferred from the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston to Broadway's Cort Theatre in 2011.

"Lydia is a perfect addition to our tribe of resident writers," said Smith in a statement. "Her plays are provocative, inspiring, and relevant. I wanted an opportunity to work with Lydia in a deep and profound way. I know she will take full advantage of this opportunity, and I look forward to the new works she'll create."

Diamond commented as well: "I love teaching, and will return to it, but have learned that there is great value in being able to step away from 'The Academy' for a while and concentrate solely on the art. I am so grateful to have had a career that has given me access to incredible artistic resources and brilliant people; still my financial reality required that I have a full-time day job in addition to my full-time writing career. Arena Stage has, through this residency, given me the gift of time."