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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

During previews
95
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if You enjoy Anna Deavere Smith's work and have empathy for the problems in today's USA. A must see.

Don't see it if N/A

During previews
86
Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like serious theater that challenges you to think about your world. Or want to see virtuosic acting from an amazing researcher/performer

Don't see it if you don't like theater to deliver political/social issue messaging. Or if you don't like one-person shows.

During previews
95
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Resonant

See it if you haven't seen one of Smith's shows before or if you want to see verbatim interviews that will leave you an emotional wreck.

Don't see it if you don't want to be left upset or disillusioned by America's education and policing policies or if you want a light and happy show.

During previews
80
Smart, Intense, Graphic

See it if you want to see magnificent acting where one woman takes on numerous real people with some gut wrenching video spliced in.

Don't see it if you are looking for something light and fluffy. Or if one woman shows aren't for you. Or if you're the kind of person who hates the news.

During previews
89
Absorbing, Great acting, Moving, Relevant

See it if you want to see a master impersonate many real people in order to illuminate a current societal problem

Don't see it if a one-person show about real-world problems doesn't interest you

During previews
58
Clever, Cliched, Entertaining, Absorbing, Disappointing

See it if You want to learn about excessive police Behavior from the victim 's side

Don't see it if You are only interested in one side of the story

During previews
95
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant

See it if You want to experience riveting, thought provoking theater that deals with the crisis of minority youth incarceration today.

Don't see it if You don't like one woman shows and are looking for light theater.

During previews
80
Intense, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you are a fan of Anna Deavere Smith in action. You like serious theatre, and intense storytelling.

Don't see it if have a hard time with dense monologues and you don't care about injustice, racial, and education topics.

During previews
89
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if your moved by political, thought provoking left leaning theatre that requires concentration and focus.

Don't see it if Your interested in a traditional narrative theatre performance or a breezy theatrical experience that is easy to digest .

During previews
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You are engaged in politics, race relations, prison reform or the world in general.

Don't see it if Alt-right

During previews
95
Great acting, Intelligent, Must see, Profound, Relevant

See it if if you like Anna Deavere Smith

Don't see it if you don't like shows about thought-provoking current topics like issues of race and class

During previews
80
Timely; stunning; not traditional theater

See it if you know A D Smith's style of exploration of contemporary issues though interview driven, impersonations. Key to current race/prison issues

Don't see it if you are not into "political" theater or desire plot-driven traditional stagings.

During previews
95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Exquisite, Great acting, Profound

See it if You are a theatre for social justice person. Or enjoy Anna Deavere Smith's previous work.

Don't see it if You don'tlike theatre that challenges you or makes you think.

During previews
90
Must see, Profound

See it if You go on an emotional journey. Some parts made me cry, some parts made me angry and some parts made me laugh. It was awesome, a must see.

Don't see it if Don't see it if you want to see a fluffy piece.

During previews
85
Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Profound, Relevant

See it if You want to see a one woman show actually worth seeing, & for an educated, first-hand assessment of social issues in the United States

Don't see it if You're not interested in social issues, or have no interest watching a fantastic one woman show.

During previews
100
Absorbing, Ambitious, Exquisite, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You enjoy Anna Deavere Smith's style of empathy-producing theater, you want to see theater tropes used with remarkable success

Don't see it if Really, just see it, but content note that it includes videos of police brutality

During previews
87
Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Intense, Must see

See it if u are romantic

Don't see it if i dont know

During previews
99
Absorbing, Great acting, Powerful and deeply thought provoking

See it if ready to experience a performance that delivers documentary worthy material in a powerful , engaging way

Don't see it if want to see something light

During previews
95
Absorbing, Masterful, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if you have any interest or investment in the future.

Don't see it if you dislike Anna Deveare Smith. Figure out why you dislike her, fix that, then go see the show.

During previews
91
Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You're aware of the educational imbalance that helps create an underclass of citizens that exist in a predetermined societal trajectory.

Don't see it if You can't accept the intense revelations related to the reality associated with people of color.

For a previous production
100
Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Must see, Relevant

See it if You're interested in the world. Never heavy handed, the artist allows you to make the connections between race, prisons, education yourself

Don't see it if You want light sit-com sort of entertainment.

Also One of the most powerful theaterworks I've seen in the last decade. Li... Read more Read less


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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