Acclaimed playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith gives in-depth talk at Orlando Rep this Sunday

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MARY ELLEN MARK
  • Mary Ellen Mark
Orlando Shakes hosts an intimate evening with the much-celebrated Anna Deavere Smith this week, in advance of her upcoming HBO film, a small-screen adaptation of her solo show Notes From the Field. Smith may be most widely known for her TV turns on Nurse Jackie and The West Wing, but we’ve been watching her with awe since 1994’s Twilight: Los Angeles, in which she inhabited the skins of dozens of real people connected to the L.A. riots, from LAPD chief Daryl Gates to truck driver Reginald Denny. Smith’s genius is to not merely play a character but to somehow become that character, not through manipulating her physicality but, seemingly, pilfering their souls for just as long as she needs them. She’ll talk about this mastery and method with the Shakes’ Kristin Clippard, discussing how she uses documentary and journalistic research techniques to find the truth of the voices she speaks aloud on stage. The interview will be followed by a Q&A, and we are fairly sure that a woman of color deeply committed to social causes will have plenty to say about the happenings of just the past month. Expect fireworks.

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10 | Orlando Repertory Theatre, 1001 E. Princeton St. | 407-447-1700 | orlandoshakes.org | $40-$100

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