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In the News
Smith transitions gracefully and convincingly between characters, with enough humor mixed in to keep the material from pushing the audience to despondency.
The overall effect of this play is stunning and deeply moving - moving one to tears at an emotional level and moving each individual to want to find a way to make a difference.
Marshalling her considerable creative forces and once again singlehandedly conjuring a wildly diverse array of characters, Anna Deavere Smith schools us from the front lines of education vs.race in these not yet United States.
This is an important piece of political theatre, well played and directed that has a great deal to say about the problems caused by unequal education. It is thought provoking, engrossing, and entertaining.
About midway through the first act of “Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education” – Anna Deavere Smith’s emotionally stunning, outrage-inspiring but ultimately hopeful one-woman theatrical performance on the devastating societal effects of the school-to-prison pipeline – I found myself wondering how an audience that was not primarily composed of “serious” theatergoers (in Cambridge, no less) would have received the impactful material.
Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education is so much more than a "One Woman Show."
Theater needs an audience to fulfill its mission, to engage with the entertainment being produced on the stage.
Once again she unpacks some of the most unpleasant realities of American life, ones we would rather not face—racism, inequality, educational failure, the school-to-prison pipeline, poverty, the tragic waste of human lives. In this extraordinary telling, these issues are exposed as a complex nest of interrelated problems.
WBUR/The ARTery: Anna Deavere Smith Shines Her Light On The School-To-Prison Pipeline (August 27, 2016)
“Notes from the Field” homes in on what some call the school-to-prison pipeline: the syndrome in which poor, usually minority youths are disproportionately punished, even in pre-school, then shunted into the juvenile justice system and often into a lifetime of ins and outs at the Big House.
From the classrooms to the streets, from the glorious memories of Selma to shocking cellphone video that captures a school officer tossing a student around a classroom, here's the raw stuff of actual and urgent crisis.