Deavere Smith ’71, ’93H Stars in One-woman Show on HBO, Feb. 24

By Caitlin Burns | February 12, 2018

Award-winning playwright, actor, and educator Anna Deavere Smith portrays Stephanie Williams, emotional support teacher in Philadelphia, in Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter, a one-woman show featuring stories about California’s devastating school-to-prison pipeline. Photo courtesy of

On Saturday, Feb. 24, don’t miss “Notes from the Field,” a one-woman show on HBO by Arcadia’s own Anna Deavere Smith ’71, ’93H. HBO notes that Smith “dramatizes the accounts of students, parents, teachers, and administrators affected by America’s school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes underprivileged, minority youth out of the classroom and into incarceration.” In a review, Broadway World lauds the way Smith “fearlessly brings to life the stories of 18 real-life people, among them current and former inmates, protestors, educators, and politicians.” Shining a light on a lost generation of American youth, “Notes from the Field” is an expression of community, positivity, and, ultimately, hope by inspiring awareness and change. 

The production also serves as a centerpiece of Smith’s social-justice initiative, The Pipeline Project, which seeks to extend the conversation of pressing issues beyond theater and into America’s communities. 

Deavere Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1971 and received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1993 from Arcadia. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1996, was given the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in 2012, and received the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in 2013. Deavere Smith also has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Awards, among other honors.