Anna Deavere Smith And The School-To-Prison Pipeline | WYPR

Anna Deavere Smith And The School-To-Prison Pipeline

Jan 4, 2016

Credit CREDIT ANNA DEAVERE SMITH PROJECTS, NEW YORK

My next guest is the acclaimed actor and writer Anna Deavere Smith. In addition to her work in television on shows such as The West Wing, Madame Secretary, and Nurse Jackie, she has made 18 documentary dramas, in which she plays a myriad of characters, through whom we are guided, with trenchant insight, around the complexities of different social issues.  A Baltimore native, she has taken on such subjects as the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, integration, and the US Health Care system. We spoke last month when she was in Baltimore performing her latest play at Center Stage. The play -- called Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education: The Baltimore Chapter -- is a masterpiece of storytelling and a provocative call to action to end what is often called the school to prison pipeline.

Also last month, Baltimore's Center Stage, under the leadership of playwright, actor, and director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, produced "My America Too: Taking Theater to the Streets" -- a series of videos available now. Center Stage's CS Digital program commissioned 10 American writers to create plays set around the kitchen table, inspired by recent events in Baltimore, Ferguson, MO and other communities.

Audio to be available by noon.