Anna Deavere-Smith on TED Talks

Posted by at 4:32PM

I’m a huge fan of the TED Talks, which usually leave me floored, but this actress’ performance simply left me floored. I don’t know what comes after floored. Unconscious? Anyway, Spring Break has given me the luxury of sitting down to watch all of these talks, and I was really moved by Anna Deavere-Smith’s performances, so I thought I would share:

Blurb from TED:

Actor Anna Deavere-Smith brings the TED audience to their feet as she brings to life author Studs Terkel, convict Paulette Jenkins, a Korean shopkeeper, and a bull rider – all people she interviewed for “On the Road: A Search for American Character.”

After doing some googling, I also discovered that she was a Professor of the Arts at Stanford from 1990-2000, after which it appears she was stolen away by NYU, though she has returned to campus occassionally to perform. We should get her back!
For more from Deavere-Smith, I suggest watching her fantastic interview with PBS.


2 Responses to “Anna Deavere-Smith on TED Talks”

  1. Troy says:

    Oh, wow! That’s great. Y’know she played Nancy McNally on the West Wing,
    and there was always something I liked about her. Guess I knew the
    Stanford connection subconsciencely.
    Interestinly enough, she was award a MacArthur grant (often called “genius
    grants”) in 1996. It’s a damn shame we let her go.

  2. Megan Miller says:

    Also, she was here last quarter performing a new work, “Let me Down Easy,” a one-woman show paying homage to the human body. Check out more here:


Comments are moderated and will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. Please do not be alarmed if your comment does not show up immediately. We will get it posted soon.