Let Me Down Easy
Paperback, 96 pages ISBN: 9781559365468Publication Date:
8 Nov 2018
Size: 215mm x 135mm£18.99
First Staged:
Off-Broadway, 2009

Let Me Down Easy

By Anna Deavere Smith

Paperback £18.99

Compiled from dozens of interviews conducted by the author, Anna Deavere Smith’s play for a solo performer Let Me Down Easy is a bracing, tender, melancholy, and triumphant exploration of death and dying.

The speakers include healthcare professionals, theologians, artists, athletes, and activists. They speak of the body as a battleground, a tool, a weapon, a joy, a burden. Smith’s great gift has always been her ability to break down her subjects’ defences and present them in their full, complicated beauty. Whether channeling Lance Armstrong, Lauren Hutton, Peter Gomes, or others who are not in the public eye, Smith reminds us again and again that in learning to die we learn to live.

Let Me Down Easy was premiered Off-Broadway in the Tony Kiser Theater at Second Stage Theater in October 2009.

Press Quotes

'An engrossing collection of testimonials about life, death, and the care of the ailing body... Continually engaging... Ms. Smith has created a vivid compendium of life experienced at its extremes, drawn about equally from the suffering and the ministering sides of the story'

New York Times

'Each vignette—there are twenty in all—is rich enough for an entire play, which is probably the point: Every person contains multitudes'


'Perpetually in search of the American character, Smith takes a slightly different tack this time in her work: Contemplating the thousand natural shocks that Shakespeare told us flesh is heir to, she ventures toward a secular definition of the human soul... What is Smith’s secret? The same as that of any great theater artist: She knows how to listen'

Los Angeles Times
Paperback,96 pages ISBN: 9781559365468Publication Date:
8 Nov 2018
Size: 215mm x 135mm£18.99
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