"There may not be enough hyphens -- or enough words beginning with a -- to adequately introduce this week's guest, Anna Deavere Smith, whose many talents and many aptitudes make it nearly impossible to describe her: actress, academic, author, activist, artist -- the list could go on and on. The 59-year-old Baltimore native plays it high and plays it low: She's equally known for the award-winning one-woman shows she writes and performs, featuring characters she discovers in real life, interviews, and then portrays with perfect vocal and physical mimicry, as she is for the characters she literally inhabits on episodic television and in the movies. In fact, at the is point, she may be better known for TV shows like Nurse Jackie and movies like Rachel Getting Married than for her work on Broadway or on stages around the country or in the classroom, teaching at the Tisch School at NYU and NYU Law School. But that's okay, as it's all of a piece. One leads to the other; one enables the other. It's all art, and it's all craft. A graduate of Beaver College and the American Conservatory Theater, Smith is best known for two plays dealing with race: Fire in the Mirror, about the 1991 Crown Heights riot in New York, and Twilight: Los Angeles, about the Rodney King incident and the riots it inspired in L.A. the following year. Ever topical, her more recent work includes 2008's Let Me Down Easy, which puts the health care and underinsurance crises front and center, and 2009's The Arizona Project, which confronts demographic change in what has turned to be an epicenter of a controversy. The rare public intellectual, Smith always has something interesting and important to say, and her plain-spoken approach and easy-going manner quickly cuts to the heart -- as you're about to see." - Evan Smith, Texas Monthly Talks, Broadcast 05.27.10

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