Chicago Premiere of Anna Deavere Smith's NOTES FROM THE FIELD Comes to TimeLine Theatre in January

Performances are January 31 - March 24, 2024 .

By: Dec. 01, 2023
Chicago Premiere of Anna Deavere Smith's NOTES FROM THE FIELD Comes to TimeLine Theatre in January
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 TimeLine Theatre Company will cast a light on America’s school-to-prison pipeline with its Chicago premiere of Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith, one of the most accomplished theater artists of our time.

Director Mikael Burke will make his TimeLine Theatre debut staging Notes from the Field, hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed productions of Blues for an Alabama Sky for Remy Bumppo and Tambo & Bones for Refracted Theatre Company.                 

Hailed by The New York Times as "a searing and urgent work that confronts some of the most pressing issues of our time with honesty, intelligence, and compassion,” Notes from the Field is an innovative first-person documentary piece that shines a bright light on the stories of those caught in America’s school-to-prison pipeline. Utilizing verbatim dialogue pulled from more than 250 real accounts from students, faculty, prisoners, activists, politicians, and victims' families, Notes from the Field takes audiences on a powerful and emotional journey through the faults and systemic injustices of the American criminal justice system.


In sum, Smith gives voice to 18 real-life people, including Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, who eulogized Freddie Gray in Baltimore; Niya Kenny, the high school student who confronted a violent police deputy—all caught on film; activist Bree Newsome, who took the Confederate flag down from the South Carolina State House grounds; and many others. She ends the play with the late Congressman John Lewis, who personifies both a violent time in American history with the civil rights movement, and the promise of what American character is all about.

Performances are January 31 - March 24, 2024 at TimeLine’s longtime home, 615 W. Wellington Ave., in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. Press opening is Wednesday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets, $35-$67, go on sale Wednesday, December 6. For tickets and more information, visit, or call the TimeLine Box Office, (773) 281-8463 x6.


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