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Anna Deavere Smith Shares Special Release of Performance for the Penny Stamps Speaker Series and MLK Symposium

Anna deavere smith

Award-winning actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith has agreed to allow the Penny Stamps Speaker Series a special one-time limited archival release of her 2014 Fragility and Resilience” performance. The opportunity will be released online starting January 21 as part of the MLK Symposium This is America.” 

Based on her one-woman show Let Me Down Easy,” which explored the American healthcare system, the September 11, 2014 performance combines stories of Smith’s creative journey with insights into the fragility and resilience of the human body and spirit. In it, Smith portrays people she interviewed across the country, including the Civil Rights icon, the late Congressman John Lewis. The event celebrated the 20th-anniversary of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

This is an extraordinary contribution by Anna Deavere Smith to allow our community access to this material in 2022 with her palpable portrayal of the American experience through a panoply of American characters,” said Chrisstina Hamilton, director of the Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. The societal importance of this performance is timely and will resonate with our audience today.”

Access to the special online event will be released on the Penny Stamps Speaker Series website, where a full calendar of all events for the semester is available. All events are free and open to the campus and the community beyond.