Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Roger Guenveur Smith '77 Performs Rodney King

Award-winning actor, playwright, and director Roger Guenveur Smith '77 returns to Oxy for a single performance of his one-person play, Rodney King.

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Smith wrote the first of the biographical and historically oriented plays that have become his signature at Occidental. For his senior honors project in American Studies, the Los Angeles native created and performed An Evening With Frederick Douglass, based on his research at the Library of Congress. His Obie-winning A Huey P. Newton Story was turned into a Peabody-winning telefilm by director Spike Lee; his Juan and John, inspired by the remarkable friendship of baseball greats Juan Marichal and John Roseboro, premiered in 2011. 

For Lee's Do the Right Thing, Smith created the stuttering hero Smiley, as well as an eclectic range of characters in Malcolm X, Get on the Bus, He Got Game, Eve's Bayou, King of New York, Deep Cover, All About the Benjamins, and American Gangster, for which he was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award. He also served as Occidental's 2011 G. William Hume Fellow in the Performing Arts.