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The Playwrights Realm 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party Honors Anna Deveare Smith


The Playwrights Realm, led by Katherine Kovner, Founding Artistic Director, and Roberta Pereira, Producing Director, will celebrate its tenth anniversary with the annual Writers Block Party honoring Realm Board Member and award-winning playwright and actor, Anna Deavere Smith. The Writers Block Party will take place on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse in the Samuel B. & David Rose Building (70 Lincoln Center Plaza; 165 West 65th Street). The event will be hosted by Lauren Patten (Fun Home, The Wolves)

The Writers Block Party will feature hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and original performances of short plays written by The Realm's Alumni Playwrights Jen Silverman and Lauren Yee. The Realm is also very excited to be hosting a silent auction on the night, the proceeds of which will go toward The Realm's programs, including the Writing Fellowship, the Page One Residency, and the Alumni Playwrights Group. The silent auction is available online from today (April 27) onwards, and includes unique experiences, such as tickets and backstage tour with The Wolves' Tedra Millan at Present Laughter with Kevin Kline; bowling with Fun Home's Lauren Patten; rare wines from Italy and France; and tickets to the 2017 U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Link to the online auction here.

About Anna Deavere Smith

An actress, playwright and teacher, Anna Deveare Smith is best known for creating a new form of documentary style theatre. She received the National Humanities Medal, presented to her by President Obama in 2013, and was the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow for Theatre Arts (for the development of Notes From the Field). A MacArthur Fellow, she is also the recipient of The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, two Tony nominations and two Obie Awards, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities.

Throughout her work, which includes over 18 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, Anna Deveare Smith often addresses contemporary social issues. Fires in the Mirror chronicling the 1991 Crown Heights riot premiered at The Public Theater in 1992, and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, about the Los Angeles race riots was performed nationally and on Broadway. House Arrest (2000) and Let Me Down Easy (2008) continued in this verbatim theater style. Her current play, Notes From the Field, is a part of The Anna Deavere Smith Pipeline Project, which seeks to use theater and film to raise awareness about the forces that lead some impoverished children to leave school and towards cycles of incarceration.

Anna Deveare Smith has a number of honorary degrees from Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Juilliard, Union Theological Seminary, and The Radcliffe Medal, and is a recipient of the Stanford University School of Medicine's Dean's Medal. She sits on the boards of trustees for the American Museum of National History, the Aspen Institute, The Playwrights Realm, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is University Professor in the department of Art & Public Policy at New York University where she is affiliated with the School of Law, and also directs the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue. TV and film credits include Nurse Jackie, Black-ish, The West Wing, The American President, Rachel Getting Married and Philadelphia. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines.

Ticketing Information:
Tickets can be purchased online at or you can call the office at 212-255-3089.

Block Party Mayor - $20,000 ($18,400 tax deduction)
Admission for eight, a surprise perk from one of the playwrights, seat selection & all benefits below.

Block Party Host - $10,000 ($8,800 tax deduction)
Admission for six, reserved VIP seating, a Realm tote & all benefits below

Block Party Sponsor - $5,000 ($4,200 tax deduction)
Admission for four, prime high-top seating, recognition as a sponsor, including sponsorship of two Realm guest artists for the evening & all benefits below

Posse - $1,000 ($600 tax deduction)
Admission for two, recognition on The Realm material & sponsor a Realm guest artist for the evening.

Entourage Ticket - $250 ($50 tax deduction)
Admission for one to the Writers Block Party

About The Playwrights Realm

Hailed as "invaluable" by The New York Times' Ben Brantley, The Playwrights Realm (Katherine Kovner, Founding Artistic Director and Roberta Pereira, Producing Director) is devoted to supporting emerging playwrights along the journey of playwriting, helping them to hone their craft, fully realize their vision and build meaningful artistic careers. To serve this mission, The Playwrights Realmprovides comprehensive support to playwrights through its Page One Residency,Alumni Playwrights Program, Writing Fellows Residency, and, of course, productions. Previous productions by The Realm include Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves (Pulitzer finalist in Drama 2017, Lortel, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations, Drama Desk special award for outstanding ensemble), Jen Silverman's The Moors, Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners, Anna Ziegler's A Delicate Ship, Anton Dudley's City Of, Elizabeth Irwin's My Mañana Comes, Lauren Yee's The Hatmaker's Wife, Ethan Lipton's Red-Handed Otter, Jen Silverman's Crane Story, Gonzalo Rodríguez Risco's Dramatis Personae, Christopher Wall's Dreams of the Washer King, Anna Ziegler's Dov and Ali, and Anton Dudley's Substitution.
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