WASHINGTON, DC –Anna Deavere Smith has joined the Center for American Progress as Artist-in-Residence. In this capacity, Smith will be researching a new play she is writing called The Americans and chronicling change in Washington, D.C.
“We are delighted to be Anna’s artistic home in Washington,” said John Podesta, President and CEO of American Progress. “Her perspective as academic, artist and social commentator offers a unique contribution not only to this organization but the community and country.”
Ms. Smith’s work combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance. Her latest play, Let Me Down Easy, is about healthcare and will open this fall at the Second Stage Theater in New York City.
Her work in television includes Presidio Med, The West Wing, The Practice, and the new Showtime television series Nurse Jackie. Films include The American President, Dave, The Human Stain, and Rachel Getting Married. Her other plays include Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Fires in the Mirror; and House Arrest. Her books include Talk To Me and Letters to A Young Artist.
A professor at New York University, she is also the founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, a center for artistic excellence addressing social change. She has won numerous awards, among them two Obies, two Tony nominations and a MacArthur fellowship. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires In the Mirror.