Anna Deavere Smith
Actress Anna Deavere Smith to Give Free Presentation of Excerpts from Critically Acclaimed
Production Monday, August 24, 2015 at 7 p.m.
If you plan to be in town for the 53rd Annual Salmon Festival on August 22nd, we suggest sticking around an extra day or two. Renowned writer, actor and educator Anna Deavere Smith is bringing excerpts from her critically acclaimed one-woman show, “Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter” to the Yurok Tribal Administration Building/Community Room in Klamath on Monday, August 24, 2015.
This compelling and inspiring production addresses the lost generation of youth from poor communities by featuring stories about the nation’s school-to-prison pipeline.
Smith believes that we all have the imagination, the wit, and the heart to make a difference. “Through this special presentation, I hope that we can build a model for art to be in direct connection to advocacy” the award winning television, film and theatre actress says.
In order to create the show, Ms. Smith consulted with numerous experts and witnesses, including Yurok fisherman Taos Proctor, a former inmate who has transformed his life and is now giving back to the community. Through this collaboration, Ms. Smith developed a personal interest in the Yurok people and will perform for free as a gift to the community.
The 7 p.m. show will run approximately 90 minutes and there will be NO cost for admission, but there is limited seating so we advise arriving early. This special one time appearance is co-sponsored by Berkeley Repertory Theatre and is underwritten by a grant from the California Endowment. Read about “Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter”, in the LA Times to learn more.
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress and playwright and has appeared at Berkeley Rep in Let Me Down Easy, Fires in the Mirror, and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. She is said to have created a new form of theatre. She has created more than 18 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, most of which deal with social issues. Twilight: Los Angeles, about the Los Angeles race riots of 1992, was performed around the country and on Broadway. PBS is currently streaming that play due to its relevance to current events. Her most recent one-person show, Let Me Down Easy, focused on health care in the U.S. Three of her plays have been broadcast on American Playhouse and Great Performances (PBS). In popular culture you have seen her in Nurse Jackie, Blackish, Madame Secretary, The West Wing, The American President, Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia, and others. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines. She is founder and director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University.
Recently she was named the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The lecture, established in 1972, is the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. Prizes include the National Humanities Medal presented by President Obama, a MacArthur fellowship, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, two Tony nominations, and two Obies. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. She has received several honorary degrees, among them from Yale University, Juilliard, the University of Pennsylvania, Spelman, Williams, Northwestern, and Radcliffe. She serves on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art, the Aspen Institute, the American Museum of Natural History, and Grace Cathedral-San Francisco. She is a University Professor at New York University.