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Roger Guenveur Smith
Performance
Roger Guenveur Smith

OTTO FRANK

April 19 - 20
Apr 19
Tuesday 7:30 PM
Spaulding Auditorium 1h30m
Apr 20
Wednesday 7:30 PM
Spaulding Auditorium 1h30m

The father of diarist Anne Frank inspires an intimate meditation on our present moment through a rigorous examination of the not-so-distant past.

21/22 Hop Presents

Artist-in-Residence

Roger Guenveur Smith returns to the Hop as a Resident Artist this season with his solo performance of OTTO FRANK— the latest work by the Obie-winning actor, writer and director.

In the tradition of his RODNEY KING (currently streaming on Netflix), the Peabody Award-winning A HUEY P. NEWTON STORY,  FREDERICK DOUGLASS NOW (presented at the Hop in 2018), and CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS 1992, Smith's OTTO FRANK mines the man beneath the myth to create work that has been described by the New York Times as "sinuous, complicated, and deeply moving."

Generously supported by the Virginia and James Giddens 1959 Fund, the David H. Hilton 1951 Fund No. 2 and the Blye Fund for Artists' Residencies

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Learn more about Smith's 2021-22 Residency at the Hop >

(Performance Info Continued)

Smith has also essayed studies of iconoclast artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Simon Rodia and Charles White, baseball greats Juan Marichal and John Roseboro, and musical legends Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.

He has constructed intimate travelogues of Iceland, Panama, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Orleans, and directed the Miamicentric RADIO MAMBO, as well as the Greek tragedy of Steven Berkoff's AGAMEMNON, and its American variant, Katori Hall's THE MOUNTAINTOP.

Smith has brought historic focus to cinematic turns in AMERICAN GANGSTER, BIRTH OF A NATION, MARSHALL (as NAACP Secretary Walter White), BETTER MUS' COME (as Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley), and BEHIND THE MOVEMENT (as Rosa Parks' husband / comrade Raymond Parks).

Roger plays Booker T. Washington opposite the Oscar-winning Octavia Butler's Madame CJ Walker in the upcoming Netflix series SELF MADE.

Of his current work Smith says:

"Rodney King introduced me to Otto Frank.
I was invited to perform Rodney King in Amsterdam and it was there that I was able to visit the Anne Frank House.
I imagined her father there, after the war, having lost his wife and their two daughters.
In silence.
And resolve.
As my anonymous narrator had pursued an impossible conversation with Rodney King, my Otto Frank, the custodian of his daughter's legacy, speaks to her from far beyond her time and his own, interrogating the crisis of our present moment from a not-so-distant past." 

Roger Guenveur Smith is an actor, writer and director who has created a prolific body of work on stage and screen. His history-infused work for the international stage includes studies of Christopher Columbus, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, iconoclast artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Simon Rodia and Charles White and baseball greats Juan Marichal and John Roseboro. He has staged travelogues of Iceland, Panama, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami and New Orleans. Roger studied at Yale University and Occidental College and has taught at both institutions, as well as CalArts, directing his Performing History Workshop.

“Roger Guenveur Smith gets it all and gets it brilliantly.”

The New York Times
Roger Guenveur Smith
Roger Guenveur Smith

While here to perform his sensational OTTO FRANK in the spring, Smith will collaborate with faculty in the Middle Eastern and Jewish Studies departments. He will also co-teach the course Black...

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