9:00 AM Friday Welcome and Keynote

The Art of Listening • Anna Deavere Smith

Ann Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith, award-winning actress and playwright renowned for her uncanny ability to disappear into multiple roles, will explore how to develop a quality that’s vital to both therapists and actors—the ability to listen.
According to Aristotle, the purpose of drama isn’t primarily to educate or entertain people, but to release harmful emotions (catharsis) and allow the recovery of  harmony and healing in the community.

Anna Deavere Smith’s acclaimed one- woman shows and her uncanny ability to disappear into multiple roles—based on her own interviews with real-life participants in controversial American social and political events—have something of the same impact on modern audiences.

Known for their “documentary theatre” style, Smith’s plays include Fires in the Mirror (for which she was runner-up for the Pulitizer Prize) and Twilight: Los Angeles, both of which featured her as a sole performer playing scores of diverse roles. Smith has also appeared in films and television shows, including Nurse Jackie, Rachel Getting Married, The West Wing, and Philadelphia. Among numerous honors, she’s received a MacArthur Award (known informally as the “genius award”), two Obies, two Tony nominations, and a 2012 National Humanities Medal presented by President Obama.

Smith’s talk will focus on how to develop a quality vital to both therapists and actors—the ability to listen and to watch.

Approved for one hour of CE credit.

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