Notes From the Field
Closed 2h 15m
Notes From the Field

Notes From the Field NYC Reviews and Tickets

(121 Ratings)
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the Show

Second Stage Theatre presents acclaimed solo artist Anna Deavere Smith's new documentary show about people impacted by America’s school-to-prison pipeline.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (121)

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118 Reviews | 23 Followers
Ambitious, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see, Intense

See it if You want to see genius at work. You care about the world we live in. You think theatre matters.

Don't see it if You're looking for touristy fluff.

106 Reviews | 15 Followers
Great acting, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to be enlightened and challenged while at theater This is a moving tour de force!

Don't see it if You prefer "light and fluffly!"

124 Reviews | 173 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful

See it if you love expansive, empathetic portrayals of complicated topics, as seen through the eyes of one of the true genius artists of our time.

Don't see it if you should see this show. She's a transcendently great performer, and this show could not be more timely and urgent.

50 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You want to witness an amazing performance by a master actor and writer. She plays real-life people and tells stories of currrent events.

Don't see it if You don't want to think deeply about our country's divide by race and social class. Not compelled by issues of civil rights and education.

175 Reviews | 30 Followers
Must see, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You want a new perspective on the education to prison pipeline. Also, if you've never see Anna Deavere Smith, this is one of her best.

Don't see it if You are not open to changing your opinion on poverty, race relations, police brutality, education, or the prison system.

50 Reviews | 12 Followers
Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Must see

See it if You want to see a tour de force by a brilliant actress who portrays multiple characters dealing with issues of race and class in America.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of one woman shows or don't want to spend your evening thinking about political issues and would rather relax in a musical

80 Reviews | 20 Followers
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if you like theater that is inspiring; have an interest in education and race issues in the U.S.

Don't see it if you are looking for a large cast and traditional story line.

165 Reviews | 22 Followers
Exquisite, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Edgy

See it if Fortunately,i have been aware of her work for several years.I was able to tell her that I saw TWILIGHT twice.This performance was awesome.

Don't see it if If you are a person who has their head in the sand.It is brutally honest about America's racial problems.She presents the facts.Draw your Read more

Critic Reviews (30)

The New York Times
November 2nd, 2016

"Though her command of different voices is what’s most obviously dazzling in theatrical terms, that mimetic talent wouldn’t count for much if it didn’t make us share the intent focus she brings to her subjects...That’s what makes Ms. Smith so invaluable. She creates a dialogue out of monologues among souls who, in real life, might never have occasion to speak to one another...Ms. Smith draws us into an ever-mutating, ever-expanding discussion."
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Time Out New York
November 2nd, 2016

"In the audacious and mind-opening 'Notes from the Field,' Anna Deavere Smith delves into poverty, police brutality, mass incarceration and educational failure. Even as she shifts, with almost insouciant skill, among 17 characters of different sexes and races, she never disappears...Her probing intelligence and fair-mindedness retain a tangible presence, assembling the monologues like puzzle pieces to form a larger picture."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 2nd, 2016

"Each segment — well, maybe one or two are less riveting than the others — is fairly astonishing, with apt climaxes and startling kickers. The overall argument, too, is theatrically structured, moving from abstractions to specifics and from causes to results to a form of transcendence...In a way, what she does is more like a summoning or a séance than a play. I’d even call it anti-theatrical, except that it’s unquestionably great theater."
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November 2nd, 2016

"Smith’s scope is greater than a look inside classrooms. Here she finds connections to a failed justice system, police violence and even to the civil rights movement of the ’60s. All this—and a bravura performance—make for a stunning production...The broader connections take time to build in strength—and sometimes the storytelling strays—but Smith lays out a compelling case for the bigger picture...The solo stories are staged with efficiency and grace by director Leonard Foglia."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 2nd, 2016

"She portrays dozens of real-life figures with dazzling, chameleon-like versatility...There are many powerful moments in the show...Despite the performer's skills and the vital importance of the social issues discussed, 'Notes from the Field' proves too diffuse to have the intended impact. The piece never quite comes into dramatic focus, instead accumulating its horror stories to punishing rather than illuminating effect...The show ultimately becomes as numbing as it is provocative."
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November 3rd, 2016

"Despite some structural shagginess in the script, Smith keeps us riveted with her mystifyingly real performances...Smith masterfully weaves facts around personal narratives, giving the numbers a human face...While both of these passages succeed at ending the play on a hopeful note...It's only a feel-good ending if you haven't been paying attention for the previous two hours. Still, Smith undeniably convinces us that this is a discussion worth having."
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November 5th, 2016

"A theatrical treasure known for decades for her solo performances, Smith uses the familiarity of these scenes to offer an intimate look at America's school-to-prison pipeline that systematically directs its citizens of color to a life of poverty through substandard education and imbalanced treatment...While Smith's superb acting skills give each contrasting character an individual completeness, the strength of her art is that she never allows the performance to overwhelm the words."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 23rd, 2016

"Smith has dived deep into her subject, traveling the country to assemble a gallery of people whose lives have been touched by this phenomenon and using her considerable editorial skills and gifts as an actress to create a kind of mural out of their points of view…As always, she is riveting…Everything about Foglia's production has been arranged to show off Smith and her incredible talent to maximum effect."
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