Experience Anna Deavere Smith’s Transformations in ‘Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition’

For Immediate Release

Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Anna Deavere Smith, a nationally known playwright, educator and actress whose credits include roles on The West Wing, Nurse Jackie, Black-ish and Madam Secretary, will give a free, public presentation titled: “Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition,” at Stockton University on Thursday,April 6 at 6 p.m.

Deavere Smith’s appearance is the second in the Dean C. and Zoë Pappas Visiting Scholar series. The program was endowed in 2012 by Dean Pappas, a university trustee who died in 2016, and his wife, Zoë. As an undergraduate at Dickinson College in 1961, Dean attended a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an experience which had a life-changing effect on him.  The Visiting Scholar program seeks to expose the campus and wider community to thought leaders as profound and inspiring as Dr. King. The inaugural Visiting Scholar was retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the court.

"My husband would be pleased that students and other members of the community will be able to experience this performance by Anna Deavere Smith," said Zoë Pappas.  

In her presentations, Deavere Smith creates living portraits which spark a variety of emotions and points of view on timely issues. Her work grows from interviews she does while traveling through the U.S. and abroad, editing them down and bringing the subjects to life. 

Through a theatrical multi-character presentation, she highlights issues of community, character and diversity in America.                           

Smith played Dr. Nancy McNally on NBC’s The West Wing, hospital administrator Gloria Akalitus in the Showtime series Nurse Jackie, and Alicia, mother of Rainbow, the main character played by Tracee Ross Ellis on Black-ish, among her television series roles.

She is currently the artist-in-residence at the Center for American Progress, a progressive policy research and advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. In 2015, she was named the Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which termed the lecture “the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.”

Over the past three decades, she has been the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, a Guggenheim fellowship and a professorship at Stanford University.

Smith’s program has been relocated to the Sports Center. Tickets are free, but access to seating must be pre-arranged. To reserve a seat through the Stockton Performing Arts Center (PAC), please call 609-652-9000 or visit stockton.edu/pac.

For more information on the Pappas Visiting Scholar Series, visit stockton.edu/pappas.