House arrest: a search for American character in and around the White House, past and present ; and, Piano : two plays
From the award-winning actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, two teeming, pungent cross-sections of the American experience. In the provocative and at times bitterly funny playHouse Arrest,Smith examines the relationships between a succession of American presidents and their observers in and out of the press. Arcing from Clinton and Monica Lewinsky to Jefferson and Sally Hemings and alive with the voices of such real-life figures as Ed Bradley, George Stephanopoulos, Anita Hill, and Abraham Lincoln, the result is a priceless examination of the intersection of public power and private life. InPiano,Smith casts her gaze back a century as she follows the tangled lines of race, sex, and exploitation in a prosperous Cuban household on the eve of the Spanish-American War. Deftly and suspensefully, Smith tells a story of ruptured allegiances and ramifying deceptions in which no onemaster or servant, friend or enemyis what he or she pretends to be. Together these two plays are further proof that Anna Deavere Smith is one of the most searing and revelatory voices in the American theater.
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House arrest: a search for American character in and around the White House, past and present; and Piano: two playsUser Review - Book Verdict
One of theater's most noted monologists-a small clique that includes John Leguizamo-Smith chronicled manifestations of urban rage on both coasts in Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 and Fires in the Mirror, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The characters in those plays were based on real-life witnesses whom Smith interviewed. This book collects House Arrest, a drama about occupants and employees of the White House who are less residents than prisoners under 24-hour surveillance, and Piano, a story of rage and rape between the classes in Cuba on the eve of the Spanish American War. Like her earlier works, House Arrest incorporates interview materials (including verbal tics) as well as historic texts on Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, and Abraham Lincoln. However, it is made up of 42 speaking parts; the number of actors needed is flexible, and the gender of the characters portrayed need not be matched to the gender of the actors. While the theme may not be a revelation, Smith's skill with words and pacing makes this a compelling drama. Piano, on the other hand, would probably play better than it reads. A strong and sensitive directorial hand, together with an experienced group of actors, would make much of it. Recommended for academic libraries that support theater programs.-Larry Schwartz, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Moorhead ...
Review: House Arrest and Piano: Two PlaysUser Review - Goodreads
10/09 new play "let me down easy"