Letters From Grace

Television viewers might recognize Anna Deavere Smith from her roles on The West Wing and Nurse Jackie but, in the world of theater, the documentary performances of this MacArthur Fellow are considered nothing short of genius. Tackling controversial topics, Smith distills countless interviews and delivers souls to the stage. This clairvoyant-like quality earned Smith one Pulitzer and two Tony nominations for Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, respectively, following the Crown Heights riot and the LA riots. More recently, she was awarded a National Humanities Medal by the president, but San Francisco churchgoers might know her better from Grace Cathedral, where she spent a year considering the meaning of “grace.” Now an artist-in-residence at the Center for American Progress, Smith returns with a pivotal text on justice: Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This response to white clergy, who had written a “Call to Unity” in criticism of MLK's protests in Alabama, weaves contrasting threads of strength, love, reason, and outrage which few are as qualified as Smith to handle.

Mon., March 10, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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