a pint of understanding

an original musical in development


the story

It’s 2012. Arriving home after a trip, Professor Chester Washington III, a renowned African American scholar, finds the door to his house jammed and his life’s work about to be put to the test. When Tim O’Connor, a white police officer, arrests him while investigating an alleged burglary at his home, two very different stories emerge, and a media circus erupts.

The U.S. president stages a meeting at the White House, the “Beer Talks,” launching the professor and the policeman on a profound journey. The professor’s daughter Chloe, an outspoken artist and cultural critic, films these freshly minted presidential advisers on a national “listening tour," and they soon prove to be a radioactive trio.

A varied jazz-inspired score creates vivid moments in this examination of race, class, perspective — and hope.



Joel LaRue Smith


Joel LaRue Smith


Benny Sato Ambush_edited.jpg


Benny Sato Ambush

All Videos

All Videos

All Categories
All Categories
Hip Hop
Musical Theatre

I'm Professor Chester Washington the Third

Two Gentlemen, Two Suitcases (excerpt)

Black and White and Blue All Over

Contempt of Cop (excerpt)

It's in the Police Report (excerpt)

What's Past is Present (excerpt)

In the People's Republic of Bainbridge (excerpt)

A Pint of Understanding Musical Selections


inside the process

The why and how of it.

Let's just do it

Composer Joel LaRue Smith

On producing a musical

Composer Joseph Smith


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