What Do Critics Think of Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field?

The Verdict   What Do Critics Think of Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field?
In her newest solo show, the award-winning playwright turns her attention to the school-to-prison pipeline.
Anna Deavere Smith Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Off-Broadway debut of Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education officially opened 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. Read reviews below:

The Guardian (Alexis Soloski)
The Hollywood Reporter (Frank Scheck)
The New York Times (Ben Brantley)
Newsday (Linda Winer)
NorthJersey.com (Robert Feldberg)
Time Out (Adam Feldman)
Variety (Frank Rizzo)
Vulture (Jesse Green
The Wrap (Thom Geier)

Scroll through photos of opening night:

Billed by 2ST 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.


For tickets and more information visit 2ST.com.

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