Anna Deavere Smith's Documentary Theater Piece Explores School-To-Prison Pipeline
The acclaimed actor and writer Anna Deavere Smith continues to break new ground in political performance art. In addition to her work in television on shows like The West Wing, Madame Secretary, and Nurse Jackie, she has produced 18 documentary dramas, in which she plays myriad characters through whom we are guided, with trenchant insight, through the complexities of different social issues.
She has taken on challenging subjects like the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, racial integration, and the American health care system. This past weekend, Tom went to Center Stage to see one of two performances of her latest play, called Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The Baltimore Chapter. It is a masterpiece of storytelling and a provocative call to action to end what is often called the school to prison pipeline. Tom spoke with Anna Deavere Smith on Monday.