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Anna Deavere Smith-Adela

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by

Melissa Valdivia

on 11 March 2015

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Transcript of Anna Deavere Smith-Adela

Accomplishments
Challenges
Fires in the Mirror
Interviewed over 50 people
Wrote the entire play herself
Acted as nearly 20 completely diverse roles on both sides of the Crown Heights riots taking place after a black boy and a jewish man were killed in New York
"...allows nearly every aspect of race, class, and prejudice in America to come boiling to the surface..."

Recent Accomplishments
In 2014 she acted in and wrote the play
On Grace and
recently
Let Me Down Easy
in the same way she did
Twilight
and
Fires in the Mirror
She is even creating a new movie about education that is not going to be made using the interviewing method
Been in the popular adult TV shows
Blackish
and
Madame Secretary
Childhood
Born on September 19, 1950 in an all black hospital in Baltimore in a segregated community
Inspired by her neighbor Mrs. Johnson who would tell her stories
She wanted to be a linguist until she was introduced to theater after college
She moved to California to become part of the Civil Rights Movement but it was over; people were no longer protesting, just trying to put themselves back together

Anna Deavere Smith

Earned many valuable and important awards like the National Humanities Medal from Barack Obama
Taught acting to young people
Earned honorary degrees at at least 20 different colleges and universities including Yale University and Spelman College
Wrote
Fires in the Mirror
and
Twilight

How She Changed the World
Anna has shown people that there is always a different side of things. That you are not the only one who's voice needs to be heard. She is also an amazing teacher. I love the way she uses theater to tell real life stories about race and social justice. Her work stands up against what she sees as a big problem today.
" ...Theater does not reflect society... It can do better."
-Anna Deavere Smith
Twilight
Created similarly to Fires in the Mirror
She interviewed people who were part of or observed the Los Angeles riots after the Rodney King verdict, when a man got beat by a police officer and it was caught on camera and the cop was found not guilty
She acts as the Asians and Latinos who were also living in LA but aren't normally mentioned in articles
http://www.neh.gov/about/awards/national-humanities-medals/anna-deavere-smith
http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/events/2013-2014-season/anna-deavere-smith
http://www.biography.com/people/rodney-king-9542141#synopsis
http://comfortingquotes.com/16-quotations-from-anna-deavere-smith-2/
http://bigthink.com/videos/who-are-you-5
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/stageonscreen/twilight/twilight.html
http://www.ew.com/article/1993/04/30/fires-mirror
When she went was a kid in the 1950s all of the actors, all of the role models were white men. Now she still believes that people aren't teaching the true facts that women are amazing too.

Have you ever thought about how long it would take to interview over 50 people and then convert it into a script. Personally I am impressed by how she is sticking to this long very educational, but time consuming method.
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