The Hall Center for the Humanities
“Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition”
by Anna Deavere-Smith, actress and playwright
Anna Deavere Smith’s ground-breaking solo shows blur the lines between theater and journalism, using text from real-life encounters to create gripping portraits of subjects as diverse as author Studs Terkel, a female convict, a Korean shopkeeper, and a bull rider. Prizes she was won include 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 created over 15 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. Her most recent one-person show, “Let Me Down Easy,” focused on health care in the US. She has also starred in Nurse Jackie, The West Wing, The American President, Rachel Getting Married, and Philadelphia, among numerous other roles.