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Notes From the Field

From 121 member reviews
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. More…

'Notes from the Field' depicts the personal accounts of students, parents, teachers, and administrators caught in our country's school-to-prison pipeline. Investigating a justice system that pushes minors from poor communities out of the classroom and into incarceration, Smith's solo show shines a light on a lost generation of American youth. Drawn from interviews with more than 200 people living and working within a challenged system, Anna Deavere Smith continues her mastery of documentary solo performance by stimulating awareness and, ultimately, change.


Member Reviews (121)

MEMBERS SAY:

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent
89
Avg Score

95
Masterful, Must see, Resonant

See it if You are interested in social justice, civil rights, and the advancement of minorities (especially blacks) in America.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with loud sounds or flashing screens.

90
Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you need an eye-opening piece of social theatre; masterfully performed by Smith and ends on a much needed hopeful note of reconciliation.

Don't see it if You need to distance yourself from the tumult of modern America.

92
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Profound

See it if you want to see a highly accomplished actress in a multitude of roles. want to be moved to tears.

Don't see it if don't like political theater. don't care about socially important issues.

90
Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You are interested in current events, social problems, drama

Don't see it if You don't appreciate one-person shows

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Masterful, Intense

See it if you want to see an important piece of verbatim theatre that illuminates the link between the school-to-prison pipeline and the PIC

Don't see it if you might find stories about and footage of police brutality triggering.

88
Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense, Must see, Relevant

See it if you are concerned about the direction this country is going in

Don't see it if you don't want to face the reality of the state of our nation

90
Absorbing, Masterful, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You want to see an amazing actress and theatre creator play several different roles & educate her audience on the school-to-prison pipeline.

Don't see it if You don't like non-linear, one woman shows and you're afraid of questioning yourself and being addressed directly as an audience member.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Political, Smart

See it if you like Deveare Smith's bravura documentary acting style; you care about prison reform, BLM, and other contemporary social issues.

Don't see it if you dislike political theatre or feel uncomfortable watching theatre about disenfranchised POC while surrounded by well-heeled white folks.

84
Absorbing, Masterful, Slow, Could have been one-third shorter for all of us to get the point.

See it if You like ADS

Don't see it if one-person shows are not for you.

95
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you are a fan of Ms. Smith's one woman shows. She is such a talent.

Don't see it if you're looking for something big and BROADWAY.

100
Thought-provoking, Must see, Profound, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You are very into social justice theatre and want to understand America's issues through real people's stories.

Don't see it if You can't handle the truth!

90
Intense, Resonant, Masterful, Great acting, Must see

See it if you are in any way invested in the issues surrounding American education and racial injustice. One of the most vital current shows.

Don't see it if you are turned off by the notion of a one-woman show, you have not liked Ms. Smith's prior work or you do not want to question your beliefs

88
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you are interested in seeing Anna's interpretations of people struggling against barriers of inadequate education, poverty and injustice.

Don't see it if You don't like one-actor shows that represent characters of different age, race and gender.

100
Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You want to see a genius at work. You care about the intersection of theatre and politics. You care about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Don't see it if You only like theatre as escapism.

100
Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see the best storytelling that has ever graced a professional stage. Anna Deavere Smith is the best at what she does.

Don't see it if you're racist or don't care about other people or about issues that affect society.

95
Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in documentary theatre and/or issues of educational and racial injustice

Don't see it if you're not interested in political theatre or non-linear narrative

95
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Profound

See it if you really want to see the perspective of minority groups from the inside out. You believe that love can be history altering.

Don't see it if you love not growing as a person

79
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want impressive acting from one woman, an important and timely message about our country and the issues we face right now. Very timely!

Don't see it if you want a comfortable and light entertaining night of theater. This is hard and though provoking & will leave you with new understandings.

100
Must see, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You care about social justice and the school to prison pipeline, or need to be woke to these issues. You want to see a great actor at work.

Don't see it if You don't like amazing acting, one-(black)-woman shows, or being challenged to think about race in America.

90
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Profound, Masterful

See it if you want to see a relevant, timely, powerful production

Don't see it if you want to have fun. This is powerful, not enjoyable

80
Great acting, Edgy, Indulgent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You're looking for a powerful performance and solid message about the broken state of American education.

Don't see it if You don't like political commentary or anything that preaches to the choir.

82
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you must see it no matter what, it is our duty to education ourselves on the racist systems inside this country

Don't see it if you know everything there is to know on the pipeline from education to prison, and even then...see it!

100
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you love smart theater and care about what's happening in the world.

Don't see it if you don't want to cry.

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Intense

See it if you care about theatre that makes you examine society and your own conscience.

Don't see it if you dislike solo performances with social relevance performed by geniuses.

90
Absorbing, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if You're interested in theatre with a powerful social message, documentary theatre, or issues of race, class, education, and justice.

Don't see it if You want something comedic, whimsical, or escapist; or if you're looking for a narrative.


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 a...
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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 i...
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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,...
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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 pi...
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