A grant from the Cambridge Community Foundation is sending 220 CRLS students to take part a conversation with noted playwright/performer Anna Deavere Smith that draws from her new work Notes from the Field: Doing Time on Education at the American Repertory Theater (ART).

The work drills down on what has been called the school-to-prison pipeline, a system in which students of color are punished, removed from classrooms and sent into the juvenile justice system in far larger numbers than their white peers.

The students will have a chance to take part in a “talkback” with the author, who has earned a national reputation for her works, which create dramatic explorations of topical issues drawing on people’s testimony. A matinee on September 14 will include the performance and post-show.