Announcing Our First Artist in Residence: Anna Deavere Smith
Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Grace Cathedral launches its Artist in Residence program with noted playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith. During January and February, 2012, Ms. Smith will share in the life of the cathedral, preach, host Forum events, and create a new work centering on the topic of grace. Ms. Smith will also be featured at Carnivale – a gala to benefit Grace Cathedral – on February 16. She will premiere her new work, entitled My Grace, at two evening performances at the cathedral on February 17 and 18. Tickets for Ms. Smith's additional performances will be available in early January, 2012.
About Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith is said to have created a new form of theater. She has won numerous awards, among them two Obies, two Tony nominations, a Drama Desk Award, the USA Susan V. Berresford Award from United States Artists, and a MacArthur fellowship. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires In the Mirror. Her most recent play, Let Me Down Easy, was featured recently at Berkeley Rep and tells the human side of the healthcare story in the US.
Ms. Smith is known for looking at controversial events from multiple points of view, combining the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance. The New York Times has called her “the ultimate impressionist; she does people's souls.”
Ms. Smith's television and movie credits include Nurse Jackie, The West Wing, The American President and others. Honorary degrees include those from Juilliard and Northwestern, and a Radcliffe Medal. She is University Professor at New York University, and serves on the board of the Museum of Modern Art and the Aspen Institute. Ms. Smith is founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works, a nonprofit that convenes artists whose work addresses the world's most pressing problems.
Grace Cathedral’s 2012 Artist in Residence program is presented with major support from the Cockayne Fund.
All images © Berkeley Repertory Theatre. All rights reserved; Headshot of Anna Deavere Smith by Mary Ellen Mark; Performance photo by Joan Marcus