Award-winning actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith will perform and discuss her one-woman show On the Road: A Search for American Character on Wednesday, February 29 at 7 p.m., as part of Pomona College’s Distinguished Speaker Series. The event, to be held at Pomona College’s Bridges Auditorium, is free and open to the public.
Ms. Smith’s show presents a collection of excerpts from 25 years of interviews with diverse voices from communities in crisis. Known for her acclaimed one-woman plays exploring American character and national identity, Ms. Smith has won numerous awards, including 2 Obies, 2 Tony nominations, a Drama Desk Award, the USA Susan V. Berresford Award from United States Artists and a MacArthur fellowship. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires In the Mirror. She has been hailed as creating a new form of theater, combining the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance. The New York Times called her “the ultimate impressionist, she does people's souls.” Her television and movie credits include Nurse Jackie, The West Wing, The American President, Philadelphia and others.
Ms. Smith is also the founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works, a nonprofit that convenes socially-committed artists whose work addresses the world's most pressing problems and brings them into dialogue with scholars, scientists, activists, students and politicians. She the founder of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University, a center for artistic excellence addressing social change. Smith teaches at New York University.
She is the author of Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind (2006) and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines (2000), among others.=
Bridges Auditorium is located at 450 N. College Way, Claremont. The free tickets are available at the Bridges Auditorium box office, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Limit 2 tickets per person.