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.