Artist Bio

Mateo R. Smith

Mateo R. Smith (US Jesse and Tony) hails from the small Southern town of McComb, Mississippi.  Mateo was introduced to the theatre and to acting in high school. He reluctantly joined McComb High School’s Competitive Forensics team while “secretly” practicing his trumpet in the auditorium. Upon graduating in 1998, Mateo attended William Carey College in Hattiesburg, MS where he earned his BFA in Theatre. While at William Carey, Mateo was a member of the nationally ranked William Carey College Forensics Team. In 2001 Mateo garnered 1st Place Awards at the Pi Kappa Delta and American Forensics Association National Championship Tournament for his Prose Interpretation of Max Lucado’s “The Touch of God.”  In the spring of 2002 Mateo returned to the national competition to win the 1st Place Award for his Program Oral Interpretation of the effects of Drug Abuse on the African-American family. In his final semester at William Carey, Mateo travelled with his cast to perform at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in a production of “And David Danced” which was selected by the KC/ACTF showcase selection committee. After graduation, Mateo was off to Abingdon, VA to begin his professional career at the historic Barter Theatre. While at Barter, Mateo enjoyed roles in such plays as “The Tempest,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “South Pacific,” and “1776,” to name a few.  In 2003, Mateo would join Theatre IV in Richmond, VA and spend 2 years on tour with Theatre for Young Audiences.  He enjoyed wonderful roles ranging from Ebenezer Scrooge, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard III, Shere Khan, and many others.  In the fall of 2005, Mateo began studies at The Theatre School of DePaul University in Chicago, IL. After completing his MFA in Acting at DePaul, Mateo joined the Chicago Theatre family, working with companies such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, MPAACT (Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre), and Victory Gardens Theatre Company among others. When not involved in artistic endeavors, Mateo enjoys lounging on the sofa with his 3lb Chihuahua “Mr. Belvediere” and toying with new recipes in his kitchen.