Actor, activist, and Baltimore native Anna Deavere Smith comes to Center Stage next month for two performances of her new work of documentary theater, “Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The Baltimore Chapter.” OSI-Baltimore is proud to co-sponsor the production.
The show is part of Smith’s “Pipeline Project,” which delves into the cycle of suspension from school and incarceration prevalent among low income minority youth. Poverty, violence, trauma, and school discipline policies send vulnerable children into the pipeline, disrupting their development and producing a destructive cycle that truncates futures.
In July, Smith, the veteran actor and activist whose credits include “Nurse Jackie,” came back to her native Baltimore to conduct interviews with locals, including Kevin Moore, who recorded the arrest of Freddie Gray. She also sat down for two public talks at Center Stage with OSI board members, Taylor Branch and Sherrilyn Ifill, to begin conversations about the project. Smith recently performed an early version of the show in Berkeley, which PBS Newshour excerpted in a great 7-minute story about the project. In Baltimore, Smith’s performance will be followed by facilitated small-group discussions of how to be part of the effort to change the school-to-prison pipeline.