Notes From the Field

Created, Written, and Performed by Anna Deavere Smith
Directed by Leonard Foglia

Anna Deavere Smith in  Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education

Anna Deavere Smith in Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education

Anna Deavere Smith examines the lack of opportunity and resources for many young people living in poverty, and how these circumstances often lead them into the criminal justice system. Using her signature form of theater and through interviews with more than two hundred individuals, Ms. Smith seeks to understand why we have let so many of our nation’s children drop out of school; suffer in regards to their physical and mental health; and wind up part of this country's mass incarceration epidemic, an issue commonly referred to as the "school-to prison-pipeline".

Ms. Smith conducted research around the country, including Northern California, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and South Carolina. From her interviews with educators, students, parents, incarcerated youth, law enforcement officers, and judges, Ms. Smith created this play, Notes From The Field. An in-progress version of Notes From The Field enjoyed critically-acclaimed and sold-out runs at Berkeley Rep in July 2015 and then subsequent performances at Center Stage in Baltimore and Philadelphia Theatre Company in December 2015. Charles McNulty of the LA Times listed the Berkeley performance of Notes From The Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter as one of the best theater experiences of 2015. Additionally, the project has been profiled by NewsHourNPRThe Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun, among others. Notes from the Field premiered its first fully realized production, including "Act 2" a process designed to engage the entire audience in a facilitated discussion about the issues raised in the play in a co-production with American Repertory Theater and Second Stage Theatre in 2016.


Awards & Nominations

2017 Lucille Lortel Award Winner, Outstanding Solo Show
2017 IRNE Nominations for Best New Play, Best Solo Performance, Best Projection Design, and Best Play


Production History

Second Stage Theatre, October - December 2016*
American Repertory Theater, August - September 2016*
Aspen Ideas Festival, June 2016 (Excerpts from)*
Grace Cathedral - San Francisco, June 2016*
Old Globe, May 2016*

*MAC Served as Production Consultant

Philadelphia Theatre Company, December 2015
Center Stage, December 2015
Berkeley Rep, July 2015