Online Hubbub: Let Me Down Easy, Saturday, September 27, 2008

Which character was your favorite and why?

“More than any one individual character, what was so impressive was Anna’s ability to move seemingly effortlessly from one character to another and to make the transformation so convincingly. I particularly like the juxtaposition of the commentary by “experts” on a topic and the thoughts and feelings of the “victims” of genocide or the health-care system.”—Mary H

“Reverend Gomes, Ann Richards. I love them both and she had them down perfectly.”—Bob V

“The lady who was not going to have dialysis and who lost family members.  I liked this character because it seemed like one of Anna’s strongest acting of all the characters.  I mean she did great with all of them but this one seemed like the character was totally her (If that makes sense).”—Scott D.

“I loved them all… the Rwandan women were very powerful and I will never forget them.  The gardener and the loving and poignant passing of the (Schubert) bells was so very tender and touching.”—Cecelia C.

Who else would you suggest that Anna interview in her ongoing exploration of grace?

“Anna Bissonette at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center who is a faculty member and nurse who has dedicated her life to providing shelter and health care to homeless, frail and elderly people. She is a person with grace.”—Mary H

“Barack Obama.”—Bob V

“I think she should explore more sports figures. Also, she should explore more people who work in middle class jobs.”—Scott D.

Have you experienced grace in your life?  How?

“I have experienced grace in the love and relationships I have with my family.  When I looked into the face of my newborn daughter, now 26 years old, I experienced a moment of joy and profound connection which I thought must be what makes me human and what giving meaning to my life.  When my husband of 30 years was diagnosed with cancer, I remember crawling into his lap and saying, Please don’t leave me. The terrible fear of the loss of someone who gives meaning to my life, who graces my life, was overwhelming. Maybe it was the loss of grace that so scared me.”—Mary H

“Yes, I will never forget or adequately describe my experience of grace with my dear mother’s last days/minutes/seconds before the bells…”—Cecelia C.

Other comments?

“This play was an amazing experience that I wish all people could have. Anna is doing a wonderful service while providing a moment in time that is memorable and meaningful.”—Mary H

“I truly liked the way the show was constructed.  I know a few people around me felt that the set and costumes were too simple.  I have to strongly disagree.  I felt that the set and set pieces and costume and costume pieces were done great.  It was simple but at the same time it really was not simple.  I also felt that her characterization of the various people was done well and that that she really did her homework and made me believe she was the character portrayed.   If I was not from California and heading home soon and from the local area I would definitely see it again and bring others with me.  This is a must see show.”—Scott D.

“I loved Anna’s performances – I could not take my eyes off of her and all those painfully sad, beautiful, sorrowful, brave, thoughtful, courageous, gentle, and graceful beings she brought with her to the stage last night.”—Cecelia C.

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2 Responses to Online Hubbub: Let Me Down Easy, Saturday, September 27, 2008

  1. Nina Walker says:

    Every character was chosen perfectly. The arc of the life of the young Rwandan girl is somthing to be contemplated over time.

    On a very personal level, I have two activities in my life that guarantee I will transcendent out of this material or corporeal world to another place undefined: Opera and my garden. So watching the character of Jessye Norman who has helped in this “transportation” I need, and the English Professor in her garden I connected to–but the overwhelming thoughts were of Anna Deavere Smith herself and the beauty of such a person.

  2. Nina Walker says:

    My humble suggestion to Anna Deavere Smith is to visit with the forgotten American population. Seek Grace on an American Indian Reservation. They are the surviving generations of genocide by any rational definition and they remain the most oppressed members of this ongoing American experiment. Because they raise no complaint and because the wider population’s guilt is so profound, they are easy to forget, ignore, turn away from. Their history makes slavery seem easy to discuss.

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