*Anna Deavere Smith is an actor, playwright and professor who hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is best known for crafting one-woman multi-character works that bring America’s social issues to the fore and crafts them in a way that causes audiences to think beyond what their eyes see and their ears hear.
She is what actors refer to as ‘an actors actor.’
Someone who goes deep in crafting the many characters she portrays so that even the slightest nuance or characteristic, no matter how intrinsic, is delivered with an authenticity that touches an audience on the deepest level.
In her two week engagement at Santa Monica’s The Broad Stage, she brings NEVER GIVIN’ UP, a powerful theatrical exploration of civil rights that includes a seminal reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s landmark document, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
And accompanying her on this night, in addition to the passionate work of violinist Robert McDuffie and pianist Anne Epperson, was a pair of crutches which she cautioned the audience not to misinterpret as acquiring “for the sake of her art.” Smith was the unfortunate victim of a broken something or other in her leg, only days before the performance.
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