Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field Opens at Second Stage Tonight

News   Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field Opens at Second Stage Tonight
The award-winning playwright turns her attention to the school-to-prison pipeline in her new Off-Broadway show.
Anna Deavere Smith in <i>Notes from the Field</i> at A.R.T.
Anna Deavere Smith in Notes from the Field at A.R.T. Evgenia Eliseeva

The Off-Broadway debut of Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education officially opens at Second Stage Theatre November 2. The solo show is created, written and performed by the award-winning Smith, with music composed and performed by Marcus Shelby, and direction by Leonard Foglia.

Playwright, actor and educator Smith, whose earlier works have explored racial tensions, law enforcement and deficiencies in the healthcare system, now turns her attention to the school-to-prison pipeline, and the poverty gap. Smith had originally planned to perform the piece in local communities, but following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, decided to return to the professional stage with the show’s timely message.


The New York premiere production began previews October 15 at Second Stage Theatre. Billed as “urgent and inspiring,” Notes from the Field depicts the personal accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators caught within the challenged system. The documentary solo piece is drawn from interviews with more than 250 people and scrutinizes a justice system that pushes minors from poor communities into incarceration.

Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education is a co-production with Boston’s American Repertory Theater, where it was performed August 20–September 17. An earlier version of the work was developed and performed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre under the direction of Leah C. Gardner in the summer of 2015.

Notes from the Field features scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, and projection design by Elaine McCarthy.

For tickets and more information visit

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