Playwright, actor, and educator, Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to explore issues of community, character, and diversity in America. The MacArthur Foundation honored Smith with the "Genius" fellowship for creating "a new form of theatre--a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism and intimate reverie." Best known for crafting more than 15 one-woman shows, based on hundreds of conversations, Smith turns her interviews into scripts, transforming herself in to an astonishing number of characters. In 2012, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal presented by President Obama. In 2015, Smith was named the Jefferson Lecturer, the nations highest honor in the humanities. She also is the recipient of the prestigious Dorothy Lillian Gish Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and most recently, the 2017 Ridenhour Courage Prize and the George Polk Career Award for authentic journalism. In his New York Times review of her play "Notes from the Field", Ben Brantley called Smith, "the American theatre's most dynamic and sophisticated oral historian."