Anna Deavere Smith: Storytelling and Healing

This is an Archive of a Past Event

[Smith] is the ultimate impressionist: she does people’s souls.
—The New York Times

For more than three decades Anna Deavere Smith has brought to life the voices of America, in all their complexity, contradiction, and beauty and in doing so she has helped pioneer an art form that has profoundly affected audiences across the country. In this special conversation, Smith will discuss her process, her search for the “other” in the American landscape, and how her work relates to health and the healing process—the way it invites us to begin making things whole. She will also reflect on and answer questions about her three performances for Stanford Live in the month of October: Twilight Los Angeles 1992, Letter from Birmingham Jail, and The Pipeline Project.

Anna Deavere Smith

University Professor, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts; Professor, Performance Studies, Affiliate, NYU School of Law

Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, and author, who has created a unique form of social theater, described as “a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie." Looking at controversial events from multiple points of view, Ms. Smith's plays combine the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through her performance. She typically conducts hundreds of interviews while creating a play, then using verbatim excerpts of the interviews, she performs dozens of voices in the course of an evening. Ms. Smith is University Professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. From 1990 to 2000, she was Ann O'Day Maples Professor of the Arts at Stanford. She has won numerous awards for her work including two TONY nominations and the MacArthur Award. In 2006, she was granted the Fletcher Fellowship for the way her work advances the legacy of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Free and open to the public. This is not a ticketed event, but seating is limited. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Visit Continuing Studies or The Stanford Storytelling Project pages for additional info.

Parking & Transportation

Parking is free on campus after 4pm in A or C spaces. Street parking is available along Serra Street, Memorial Way, Lasuen Street, Museum Way, and Roth Way. Link to Stanford Parking Map.