productions / seasons / 2011 - 2012 / Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 production photo
Anna Deavere Smith
photo credit:
Michael Marfione

A Workshop Production

February 16 and 17, 2012 at 7:30pm

Bruce Montgomery Theatre, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Directed by Danielle Bainbridge

Faculty project advisor: Cary M. Mazer

Featuring a company of senior Theatre Arts majors.

A documentary theatre piece that critically evaluates American racial politics in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 presents as many problems as it refuses to offer solutions. Originally researched, written and performed by Deveare Smith as a one woman show, Twilight is a series of candid interviews with LA residents in the aftermath of the events that shook this nation. The trial of the police officers responsible for beating Rodney King, a young African American man, was widely televised. The events surrounding King’s arrest and the subsequent trial sparked national debate about the nature of race, privilege and police brutality in America. Here Deveare Smith seamlessly represents the full spectrum of experiences, interviewing such diverse candidates as famed opera singer Jessye Norman, former Black Panther Party member and activist Elaine Brown, philosopher and critic Cornel West alongside a juror from the court case, the aunt of Rodney King and one of the police officers responsible for the attack on King. This piece is equal parts gripping, horrifying and empathetic as it grapples with an American landscape, irreparably changed by the controversial trial and the reverberations of the aftermath.