Anna Deavere Smith's Let Me Down Easy Will Air on "Great Performances"

Anna Deavere Smith's solo play Let Me Down Easy, which navigates the troubling waters of the U.S. healthcare system and the resilience of the human body, will be captured for PBS "Great Performances" during its upcoming engagement at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage.

Let Me Down Easy star-creator Anna Deavere Smith
Let Me Down Easy star-creator Anna Deavere Smith (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Let Me Down Easy will be filmed in February at Arena's Kreeger Theater for a "Great Performances" debut during the 2011-2012 season. Matthew Diamond will direct the televised presentation.

Prior to its "Great Performances" airing, Let Me Down Easy will play a limited U.S. tour. The Arena engagement, which launched Dec. 31, 2010, and runs through Feb. 13, marks the first stop on the tour. Leonard Foglia ( Master Class) directed the stage production.

Original notes for the Off-Broadway presentation read: "Channeling a dramatic range of interview subjects, from artists and athletes to doctors and those they treat," Smith, according to a Let Me Down Easy synopsis, explores "the power of the body and the resilience of the human spirit, featuring first person accounts from a wide variety of sources, including Lance Armstrong and former Texas Governor Ann Richards."

Smith has been seen on television's "Nurse Jackie," "The West Wing," "The Practice" and the films "Rachel Getting Married," "The American President," "Philadelphia" and "Dave." As a writer, she has penned the plays Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Fires in the Mirror (Pulitzer Prize finalist) and House Arrest as well as the books "Talk To Me" and "Letters to A Young Artist."

Additional tour stops for Let Me Down Easy include the Wexner Center for the Arts; Philadelphia Theatre Company; a collaborative presentation of San Diego REPertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and the Vantage Theatre; and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.