We all have seen the
speed limit signs seeking to encourage us to go no more than 55 miles
per hour. Of course we all speed past that governmental limit, tempting
fate, whizzing here and there cruising down the high way of life, seeing
in blurs our fellow law breakers and sojourners approaching our multiple
time sensitive destinations.
Let Me Down Easy written and performed by Anna Devere Smith and directed
by Stephen Wadsworth is performed with lightning speed, lights up your
mind , jars your senses, grates your hearing, tempts you to apply brakelights,
creates a cascade of contradictory thoughts and emotions competing for
attention which are swept aside by another avalanche of performance wordbites
and soundbites and drama bites, devouring your attention span as you drive
your space/time/body down the highway of life , seated but moving through
space , much faster than 55 miles per hour.
One person on a stage, evoking the particulate yet ever expanding universe
, a volcano of life and death, ying and yang, a prism of rainbows penetrating
What is this play about, only the witness participant can say, but the
story of life is not thematic, it is holistic and mysterious, beckoning
, demanding and teasing with waking dreams of rapture.
Anna Deavere Smith's newest work in progress. "Let Me Down Easy"
— a play about the resilience and fragility of the human body —
is the latest installment in Ms. Smith's ongoing series of one woman shows,
On The Road: A Search For American Character.
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, and author, who has created
a unique form of social theater, described as “a blend of theatrical
art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie." Looking
at controversial events from multiple points of view, Ms. Smith's plays
combine the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the
art of interpreting their words through her performance. She typically
conducts hundreds of interviews while creating a play, then using verbatim
excerpts of the interviews, she performs dozens of voices in the course
of an evening. The New York Times said of her performances, “[she
is] the ultimate impressionist: she does people's souls.”