The award-winning actor, playwright, and activist Anna Deavere Smith, known for her roles in "The West Wing" and "Nurse Jackie" as well as her celebrated one-woman, documentary-style plays, will perform her newest work "Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The Baltimore Chapter" at Center Stage for two shows only on Dec. 5 and 6.
Part of her "Pipeline Project," the performance will draw from research and interviews conducted last summer with Baltimore community members, including City Paper Photo Editor J.M. Giordano and Editor-At-Large Baynard Woods, as well as Kevin Moore, who recorded Freddie Gray's arrest.
Like Smith's other plays, including "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992" and "Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities," the new work deals with a community in a time of crisis and a pervasive social issue—in this case, the pattern that draws students in low-income communities from disciplinary action in school to incarceration.
In June, she publicly discussed the project and the school-to-prison pipeline with Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., at Center Stage. Next week's shows will include small-group discussion sessions, and Smith will participate in a panel discussion at the Urban Health Institute on Dec. 7.