About Lisa Kron and Anna Deavere Smith
Lisa Kron has been writing and performing theater since coming to New York from Michigan in 1984. Her work has been widely produced in New York, regionally, and internationally. Her play Fun Home, a musical written with composer Jeanine Tesori and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, earned her 2 Tony Awards in 2015, for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score (with Jeanine Tesori); the show also won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Other plays include The Ver**zon Play; In The Wake which received Lortel and GLAAD Media Award nominations, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, named a “Best Play of 2010” by TimeOut and Backstage; Well, was named a “Best Play of 2004” by the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Newark Star Ledger, Backstage, and the Advocate. 2.5 Minute Ride which received OBIE, L.A. Drama-Logue, New York Press, and GLAAD Media Awards; 101 Humiliating Stories, which received a Drama Desk nomination.
Lisa is a founding member of the legendary OBIE and Bessie Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers whose plays, Oedipus at Palm Springs, Brave Smiles, Brides of the Moon and The Secretaries have all been produced by their theatrical home, New York Theater Workshop, and have been performed widely throughout the country both by the Brothers and by other companies.
Lisa has received playwriting fellowships from the Lortel and Guggenheim Foundations, Sundance Theater Lab, the Lark Play Development Center, and the MacDowell Colony, the Cal Arts/Alpert Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Kleban Prize, and grants from the Creative Capital Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts. She was a resident playwright at the American Voices New Play Initiative at Arena Stage.
As an actor. Lisa has acted in her own plays and the plays of the Five Lesbian Brothers, and also been seen in such productions as the Foundry’s Good Person of Szechwan at LaMama, The Normal Heart at the Public Theater, Spain at M.C.C., and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, at NYTW.
Anna Deavere Smith
Actress, playwright, and teacher, Anna Deavere Smith is said to have created a new form of theater. Her latest play, Notes From the Field, explores issues of justice and opportunity in America through the lens of education. She is recipient of two Tony nominations and three Obie awards. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. She has created over 15 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, including Twilight: Los Angeles, about the Los Angeles race riots of 1992 and Let Me Down Easy, which focused on healthcare in the United States. Television work includes The West Wing, Nurse Jackie, and Black – ish. Films include The American President, Rachel Getting Married and Philadelphia. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me. She received the National Humanities Medal, presented to her by President Obama in 2013. She was the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is a MacArthur Fellow, recipient of a George Polk Award in Journalism, a Ridenhour Courage Prize, and The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. She is University Professor at New York University, where she also directs the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue.