Roger Guenveur Smith
[Canceled] School Matinée: Roger Guenveur Smith


April 20, 2022

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Youth & Families season. This is an archived view.

The School Matinée version of OTTO FRANK has been canceled due to COVID-related challenges.

21/22 Youth & Families

If you would like to attend the public performance of OTTO FRANK on April 20th as part of a school group, please email the Box Office at for special pricing.


2021/22 Artist-in-Residence

The diarist's father navigates loss, his daughter's legacy and learning from the past in this powerful monologue by the award-winning actor, writer and director.

Anne's father, Otto Frank, was the only family member to survive the Holocaust and the driving force behind the publication of her diary. His life's mission became to share his daughter's legacy with the world, particularly, young people, carrying a warning from the past, with a view to the future. In this solo performance, Obie and Peabody Award-winning actor, writer and director Roger Guenveur Smith brings Otto Frank to life in an intimate meditation on our present moment through a rigorous examination of the not-so-distant past. 
OTTO FRANK follows the tradition of Smith's 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.

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

Photo courtesy of the artist

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.

"sinuous, complicated, and deeply moving"


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