The Pipeline Project






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Photo credit: Scott Wall

Anna Deavere Smith performs a staged reading of the Pipeline Project.

The Pipeline Project” is the newest work by Anna Deavere Smith. It examines the lack of opportunity and resources for many young people living in poverty, and how these circumstances often lead them into the criminal justice system. Using her signature form of theater and through interviews of hundreds of individuals, Ms. Smith seeks to understand why we have let so many of our nation’s children drop out of school; suffer in regards to their physical and mental health; and wind up incarcerated in juvenile facilities.

Ms. Smith has conducted research around the country, including in Northern California, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. She will continue her research in South Carolina. From her interviews of almost 200 individuals, including educators,  students, parents, incarcerated youth, law enforcement officers, and judges, Ms. Smith has created a play, Notes From The Field: Doing Time in Education. An in-progress version of Notes From The Field enjoyed critically-acclaimed and sold-out runs in Berkeley in July 2015 and Baltimore December 2015. Charles McNulty of the LA Times listed the Berkeley performance of Notes From The Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter as one of the best theater experiences of 2015. Additionally, the project has been profiled by NewsHour, NPR, The Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun, among others.

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Photo credit: Scott Wall

Audience members discuss the Pipeline Project at a town hall in July 2014.