The Seven Last Words of Christ

Anna Deavere Smith’s recitation of the Seven Last Words of Christ. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA.

The celebrated ensemble performs Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, the composer’s reflection on Good Friday, interspersed with reflections by Anna Deavere Smith; Dr. Sandra Montes, Dean of Chapel at Union Theological Seminary; Uriah Kim, President, Graduate Theological Union; and the Very Rev. Dr. Alan Jones, Dean Emeritus of Grace Cathedral.

The Seven Last Words of Christ by Joseph Haydn was commissioned in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva (Holy Cave Oratory) in Cádiz, Spain. The seven main meditative sections—labelled “sonatas” and all slow—are framed by a slow Introduction and a fast “Earthquake” conclusion, for a total of nine movements. At the request of his publisher, the composer in 1787 produced a version for string quartet: Haydn’s Opus 51. This is the form in which the music is most often heard today.

Anna D. Smith & Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama greets Anna Deavere Smith in the Cross Hall of the White House following the “Remarkable Women in DC” dinner, March 30, 2011.

(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

On the Road

These are a few pictures which were taken during Pipeline’s creation. They represent the locations and people that were encountered along the way while in California during this phase of the project.

Home of the Yurok Tribe. Northern California, Yurok Indian Reservation
Working with a Kindergarten teacher while in Stockton, California

Finding Truth in Doubt with Anna Deavere Smit‪h‬

Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening? Tonight he covers these tough questions with a special guest, critically acclaimed playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith who crafts groundbreaking art at the intersection of journalism and theater. Listen to the podcast here.

Anna Deavere Smith On What It Takes To Bring About Change

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with actress and writer Anna Deavere Smith about her essay, The Last of the Nice Negro Girls, which is part of The Atlantic’s Inheritance project. Check it out here.

And check out a deeper discussion on The Last of the Nice Negro Girls, forging Black identity, and empowering our defiance with The Inheritance Project presented by The Atlantic.