Public Theater to Welcome Anna Deavere Smith, Steven Pinker & More for 'TALKING ABOUT RACE,' 5/30-31

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Public Theater to Welcome Anna Deavere Smith, Steven Pinker & More for 'TALKING ABOUT RACE,' 5/30-31

The Public Theater has announced TALKING ABOUT RACE: SCIENCE, POLITICS, ART 1959-1970-2014, a two-night Public Forum event on Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m. in The Public's Anspacher Theater. Presented with Anna Deavere Smith Works at The Aspen Institute, The American Museum of Natural History and with in-kind support from the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University, these two exciting evenings will combine performances of provocative historic conversations about race with an unscripted modern sequel.

Directed by Smith in her classic "documentary theater" style, each night will begin with actors performing excerpts of two charged discussions of race: Mike Wallace's 1959 interview with Lorraine Hansberry about the success of A Raisin in the Sun, and Margaret Mead's legendary 1970 "rap on race" with James Baldwin.

On Friday, May 30, the Hansberry/Wallace and Baldwin/Mead conversations will be followed by a provocative discussion between Anna Deavere Smith and author and experimental psychologist Steven Pinker about race and language in 2014.

On Saturday, May 31, the Hansberry/Wallace and Baldwin/Mead conversations will be followed by a discussion that views race through the lens of contemporary science, featuring Dr. Victor G. Carrion of Stanford University, Dr. Rob DeSalle of the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Evelynn M. Hammonds of Harvard University.

The historical conversations will be performed by David Aaron Baker (Mike Wallace), Meg Gibson (Margaret Mead), Brian Tyree Henry (James Baldwin), and Katherine Ella Wood (Lorraine Hansberry).

Following the two-night run at The Public in May, TALKING ABOUT RACE will be presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June.

Tickets for the Public Forum TALKING ABOUT RACE: SCIENCE, POLITICS, ART 1959-1970-2014, priced at $40, are on sale now and can be purchased at (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drinks, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Joe's Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city.

The final Public Forum Drama Club of the spring season will be on Sunday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Joe's Pub with a reading and discussion of Susan Glaspell's timely one-act play, The People, featuring a special cast comprised entirely of our leading political journalists, including David Brooks (The New York Times), Christopher Hayes (MSNBC), and many more.

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