Anna Deavere Smith is a singular artist. The transfiguration of journalistic interviews into documentary-style drama, a method Smith pioneered 30 years ago, redefined what it means to tell the truth on stage. Her solo performance style, which favors a kind of channeling over full characterization, encouraged an extension of imagination, essential to considering the questions of social justice her plays confront. Smith's revision of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 as an ensemble piece for Signature...
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 Tickets
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 Information
Signature Theatre revives revered actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith's seminal work Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. The second production in Smith's continuing Signature residency, this timely and powerful work examines race, class and division in America with fierce insight and intensity. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 tickets will be available on New York Theatre Guide soon.
The Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 play documents the 1992 Los Angeles riots and their immediate aftermath. The unrest was sparked by the acquittal of four police officers who were filmed brutally beating Rodney King, an unarmed DUI suspect struck fifty-three times by police. The officers' acquittal inflamed existing social and ethnic tensions within Los Angeles, leading to six days of rioting, 63 deaths, 2,383 injuries and over 12,000 arrests.
Smith conducted over 350 interviews with individuals involved in or affected by the unrest. From those interviews, she created Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, a verbatim piece made up entirely of real people's accounts. Smith crafts an exhaustive and nuanced picture of an event variously described as a riot, a revolution, or a social explosion. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 off-Broadway is equal parts meticulously researched reportage and stirring cry for reform.
Following its first production in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in 1994, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 transferred to Broadway's Cort Theatre, where it ran for 72 performances and earned two Tony nominations. PBS later filmed the show, again starring Smith, for television broadcast.
Signature continues Smith's Residency One program, which offers audiences an in-depth experience of one artist's body of work by staging at least three of their productions over a period of five years. Tickets to Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 tickets will be available soon.
One verdict can change the course of history. The news of the police officers’ acquittal in Rodney King’s police brutality case reverberated throughout the streets of Los Angeles. Variously called a “riot, a revolution, or a social explosion,” the events that followed the verdict drew worldwide attention. Playwright, actor and scholar Anna Deavere Smith responded artistically by dissecting the anatomy of the unrest. She interviewed over 350 Los Angelinos in preparation for the performance. Smith’s transformative study of the 1992 L.A. riots reveals the fault lines that set the city ablaze. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is equal parts meticulously researched reportage and stirring cry for reform.
2 hrs, 30 mins (Incl. Intermission)
November 4th, 2021
November 21st, 2021
October 12th, 2021
Pershing Square Signature Center
Signature is back with the long-awaited, powerful reimagining of 1992 L.A and its civil unrest, revealing the fault lines that set the city ablaze.
Cast and creative
By: Anna Deavere Smith
Director: Taibi Magar
Producer: Signature Theatre
Cast list: Elena Hurst, Wesley T. Jones, Francis Jue, Karl Kenzler, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart
Design: Riccardo Hernández
Lighting: Alan C. Edwards
Costume: Linda Cho
Sound: Darron L West
Other info: Projection design by David Bengali, Michael Leon Thomas is the movement coach, Dawn-Elin Fraser is the dialect coach, Ann James is the sensitivity specialist, and Charles M. Turner III is the production stage manager.