Geneva Anderson digs into art

Listening Between the Lines, Anna Deavere Smith in conversation at the New School, Bolinas, Thursday June 23, 2011

Observation is one of the most exacting skills every artist must cultivate. For a writer, listening is critical to the process of transmuting observed reality into art. Playwright and performer Anna Deavere Smith is said to have created a new form of theatre mining the riches of both spoken and unspoken language.  She will appear in conversation with painter and author Eric Karpeles at the New School at Commonweal in Bolinas this Thursday, June 23, 2011 from 2-4 p.m.  Honoring her sources, Deavere-Smith has developed an idiosyncratic theatrical form that is composed exclusively of verbatim texts hobbled together from interviews done over years with both ordinary and extraordinary people.  Her journey has led her through riot-torn streets and up academic ivory towers, encountering a dazzling cross-section of American individuals.  Her current production, “Let Me Down Easy” is centered on the drama of the human body and its rough handling in the hands of the medical-industrial complex. Performances at Berkeley Rep run through Sunday, June 26th, 2011 and the production has been extended for its second time, will return for 27 additional performances over four weeks starting August 10, 2011- September 4, 2011.  

Anna Deavere Smith is a poet, teacher, actor, and playwright. Her explosive theater works about race in America—Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992—garnered considerable acclaim. Television and film credits include Nurse Jackie, The West Wing, The American President and The Human Stain. A professor at NYU, Smith is founder of The Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue and has taught at Harvard and Stanford.  She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1996.

Details:  RSVP for Anna Deavere Smith in Conversation to the New School at  New School events are held in the main Commonweal building at 451 Mesa Road, Bolinas, CA 94924.  A sign on the front door will lead you to either the Library or the Gallery, depending on the size of the event. Download a map (PDF) with driving directions to Commonweal. Click here for driving directions from Google.

Let Me Down Easy closes June 26, 2011 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s and will resume again August 10-September 4, 2011.   The Berkeley Repertory Theatre is located at 2025 Addison Street @ Shattuck, Berkeley, CA  94704.  Tickets: $49-$95.  Info: 510.647.2949 or

June 20, 2011 Posted by | Theatre | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment