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Stanford Medicine

Medicine and Society

How a med school dean became part of Anna Deavere Smith’s hit play

Back in 2009, my colleague Paul Costello spoke with playwright Anna Deavere Smith¬†about her then-new play, “Let Me Down Easy,” which pays homage to the human body. Deavere Smith is still performing the well-reviewed one-woman show -¬†she most recently appeared at the Berkeley Rep – and in an interview with AAMC Reporter she talks about her work and why she included one particular character:

Reporter: You interviewed Dr. Philip Pizzo, the dean of Stanford University School of Medicine. Why was it important to you to include a medical school voice in the play?

Smith: In different versions of the play there were many doctors, even a traditional healer from Uganda. Dr. Pizzo is passionate about the condition of health care in this country, so he helps bring this version of the play home to this very moment in America. He also warns us that we have hard choices ahead of us, and that we need to pay attention societally as well as personally.

Previously: Playwright takes healthcare to the stage and Let me down easy

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