Anna Deavere Smith Biography (1950-)

Middle name is pronounced "Duh-veer"; born September 18, 1950, in Baltimore,MD; daughter of Deavere Young (a coffee merchant) and Anna (an elementary school principal; maiden name, Young) Smith. Addresses: Agent: Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Nationality
American
Gender
Female
Occupation
Actress, producer, writer
Birth Details
September 18, 1950
Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Famous Works

  • CREDITS
  • Stage Appearances
  • (Stage debut) The savage, Horatio, American Conservatory Theatre,San Francisco, CA, 1974
  • (New York debut) Marie Laveau, Alma, the Ghost of Spring Street, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, 1976
  • Mother Courage, New York Shakespeare Festival, New York City, 1980
  • On the Road, Clear Space Theatre, New York City, 1982, then Berkeley Repertory Co., Berkeley, CA, 1983
  • A Birthday Party and Aunt Julia's Shoes (original poems), Ward Nasse Gallery, New York City, 1983
  • Doreen, Tartuffe, GeVa Theatre, Rochester, NY, 1983
  • Charlayne Hunter Gault, Ward Nasse Gallery, 1984
  • Aye, Aye, Aye, I'm Integrated, American Place Theatre, New York City, 1984
  • Building Bridges, Not Walls, National Conference of Women and theLaw, New York City, 1985
  • On the Road: ACT, American Conservatory Theatre, 1986
  • Voices of Bay Area Women, Phoenix Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 1988
  • Chlorophyll Post-Modernism and the Mother Goddess: A Convers/Ation, Hahn Cosmopolitan Theatre, San Diego, CA, 1988
  • Gender Bending: On the Road Princeton University, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 1989
  • Piano, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles, 1989-1990
  • Gender Bending: On the Road University of Pennsylvania, Universityof Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1990
  • On Black Identity and Black Theatre, Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick, NJ, 1990
  • From the Outside Looking In, Eureka Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 1990
  • Fragments, Conference on Intercultural Performance, Bellagio, Italy, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions I, Calistoga Arts Festival, Calistoga, CA, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions II, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, San Francisco, CA, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions III, Global Communities Conference, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions IV, Festival of New Voices, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, New York City, 1991
  • Dream (workshop), Crossroads Theatre Company, 1992
  • Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities(solo show), Joseph Papp Public Theatre, 1992, then Royal Court Theatre, London, 1993
  • Hymn (ballet), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, City Center Theatre, New York City, 1993
  • Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (solo show), Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1993, then Joseph Papp Public Theatre, later Cort Theatre, New York City, both 1994
  • Three Tall Women, New York City production, 1994
  • House Arrest: First Edition (two-act), Kreeger Theatre, Washington, DC, 1997
  • House Arrest, Joseph Papp Public Theatre/Newman Theatre, 2000
  • Stage Work
  • Artistic advisor, Nickel and Dimed, Intiman Theater, Seattle, WA,2002
  • Film Appearances
  • (Film debut) Deborah, Soup for One, Warner Bros., 1982
  • Anna, Unfinished Business ... , American Film Institute, 1987
  • Mrs. Travis, Dave, Warner Bros., 1993
  • Anthea Burton, Philadelphia, TriStar, 1993
  • Robin McCall, The American President, Columbia, 1995
  • Herself, Twilight: Los Angeles (documentary), Offline Releasing, 2000
  • Mrs. Silk, The Human Stain, Miramax, 2003
  • Film Work
  • Producer, Twilight: Los Angeles, Offline Releasing, 2000
  • Television Appearances
  • Series
  • (Television debut) Hazel, All My Children, ABC, 1983
  • Nancy McNally, a recurring role, The West Wing, NBC, 2000-
  • Dr. Letty Jordan, Presidio Med, CBS, 2002
  • Pilots
  • Expert Witness, CBS, 2003
  • Television Appearances: Specials
  • The Issue Is Race, PBS, 1992
  • "Fires in the Mirror," American Playhouse, PBS, 1993
  • Narrator, Hawaii's Last Queen, PBS, 1997
  • A Hymn for Alvin Ailey, PBS, 1999
  • Jessye Norman Sings for the Healing of AIDS, PBS, 2000
  • Television Appearances
  • Episodic
  • District Attorney Kate Brunner, "Summary Judgments," The Practice,ABC, 2000
  • District Attorney Kate Brunner, "Germ Warfare," The Practice, ABC,2000
  • District Attorney Kate Brunner, "We Hold These Truths ... ," The Practice, ABC, 2000
  • District Attorney Kate Brunner, "The Deal," The Practice, ABC, 2000
  • Ms. Davis, "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished," 100 Centre Street, Artsand Entertainment, 2001
  • Also appeared as correspondent, Life 360, PBS.
  • RECORDINGS
  • Taped Readings
  • Hannah Crafts' The Bondswoman's Narrative, Time Warner Audiobooks,2002
  • WRITINGS
  • Plays
  • On the Road, produced at Clear Space, New York City, 1982, then byBerkeley Repertory Co., Berkeley, CA, 1983
  • A Birthday Party (original poems), performed at Ward Nasse Gallery, New York City, 1983
  • Aunt Julia's Shoes (original poems), performed at Ward Nasse Gallery, 1983
  • Charlayne Hunter Gault, performed at Ward Nasse Gallery, 1984
  • Aye, Aye, Aye, I'm Integrated, produced at American Place Theatre,New York City, 1984
  • Building Bridges, Not Walls, performed at National Conference of Women and the Law, New York City, 1985
  • On the Road: ACT, produced by American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 1986
  • Voices of Bay Area Women, produced at Phoenix Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 1988
  • Chlorophyll Post-Modernism and the Mother Goddess: A Convers/Ation, produced at Hahn Cosmopolitan Theatre, 1988
  • Gender Bending: On the Road Princeton University, produced at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 1989
  • Piano, produced at Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles, 1989-1990
  • Gender Bending: On the Road University of Pennsylvania, produced at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1990
  • On Black Identity and Black Theatre, produced by Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick, NJ, 1990
  • From the Outside Looking In, produced at Eureka Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 1990
  • Fragments, performed at Conference on Intercultural Performance, Bellagio, Italy, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions I, produced at Calistoga ArtsFestival, Calistoga, CA, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions II, produced at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, San Francisco, CA, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions III, produced at Global Communities Conference, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1991
  • Identities, Mirrors, and Distortions IV, produced at Festival of New Voices, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, New York City, 1991
  • Dream (workshop), produced by Crossroads Theatre Company, 1992
  • Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities(solo show), produced at Joseph Papp Public Theatre, 1992, then Royal CourtTheatre, London, 1993, published by Anchor Books (New York), 1993
  • (With Judith Jamison) Hymn (ballet), produced by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, City Center Theatre, New York City, 1993
  • Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (solo show), produced at Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1993, then Joseph Papp Public Theatre, later Cort Theatre,both 1994, published as Twilight--Los Angeles, 1992 on the Road: A Searchfor American Character, Anchor Books, 1994
  • Three Tall Women, New York City production, 1994
  • House Arrest: First Edition (two-act), produced at Kreeger Theatre, Washington, DC, 1997
  • House Arrest, produced at Public Theatre, New York City, 2000
  • Screenplays
  • Twilight: Los Angeles, 2000
  • Television Specials
  • "Fires in the Mirror" (based on her stage play), American Playhouse, PBS, 1993
  • Books
  • Talk to Me: Travels in Media and Politics, 2001

Further Reference

OTHER SOURCES

    Books
    • Contemporary Authors, Volume 133, Gale, 1991
    • Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 6, Gale Research, 1994
    • Newsmakers, Issue 22, Gale Group, 2002
    • Notable Black American Women, Book 3, Gale Group, 2002
    Periodicals
    • American Theatre, October, 1996, p. 18; December, 1998, p. 68
    • Interview, September, 1996, p. 46
    • New York Times, June 10, 1992, pp. C1, C6; April 23, 1993, pp. B7,C2; January 29, 1997
    • People Weekly, December 11, 2000, p. 187
    • Publishers Weekly, September 18, 2000, p. 94
    • Variety, February 3, 1997, p. 56

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