SINGAPORE – Notes from the Field, the adaptation of Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee Anna Deavere Smith’s acclaimed one-woman show of the same name, will debut same time as the U.S. on Sunday, February 25 at 9am with a same day encore at 11:30pm, exclusively on HBO. The film will be streaming on HBO GO and will also be available on HBO On Demand.
The HBO Films presentation dramatizes the accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators caught in America’s school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes underprivileged, minority youth out of the classroom and into incarceration. Drawn from interviews with more than 250 people living and working within a challenged system, and featuring Smith’s fearless portrayals of 18 real-life characters, the film shines a light on a lost generation of American youth, hoping to inspire awareness and change.
A full production of Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field opened in late 2016 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., and immediately transferred to off-Broadway, opening at Second Stage Theater in New York. Now, this acclaimed play comes to HBO, as NOTES FROM THE FIELD adapts the actress, playwright, professor and activists’ powerful work. The HBO Films presentation of the play focuses on the lack of opportunity and resources for young people living in poverty, which often leads them into the criminal justice system.
Enlightening and empathetic, the film tackles questions of race and class through compelling first-person stories, drawing on the accounts of well-known figures like Rep. John Lewis, NAACP Legal Defense Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill and activist Bree Newsome, as well as everyday people struggling in a broken system. Culled from hours of interviews conducted by Smith with more than 250 people across the country, NOTES FROM THE FIELD showcases her extraordinary gift for transforming herself into diverse characters as she recreates each person’s speech patterns, movements and emotions.
Filmed in front of a live audience and intercut with haunting video footage and photographs, NOTES FROM THE FIELD features accompaniment by jazz bassist Marcus Shelby.
The full stage production of Notes from the Field ran at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge and at Second Stage in New York from August to December 2016. It serves as a centerpiece of Smith’s social-justice initiative “The Pipeline Project,” which began in 2013 and seeks to extend the conversation of pressing issues beyond theater and into America’s communities.
Notes from the Field is a Playtone production; executive produced by Gary Goetzman and Anna Deavere Smith; conceived and written by Anna Deavere Smith; directed by Kristi Zea.