After beginning performances October 12, Signature Theatre’s revival of Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 officially opened at The Pershing Square Signature Center's Irene Diamond Stage November 1.
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 follows the aftermath of the L.A. riots, sparked by the acquittal of Rodney King. At the time, Smith responded by interviewing over 350 people, eventually finding space to create a through-line of monologues that explores the unrest.
While the play was originally performed by Smith as a solo piece on Broadway in 1994, the Signature Theatre revival features an ensemble cast comprised of Elena Hurst, Wesley T. Jones, Francis Jue, Karl Kenzler, and Tiffany Rachelle Stewart.
“Sadly, the play is still relevant on many fronts,” Smith explained in a previous statement. “The gentleman who took the video of Rodney King being beaten was apparently testing out his camera for the first time. The video of Rodney King is the first time that a beating was seen by the world and in fact, went viral, if viral was even a word used then. None of us would have known about George Floyd's murder had it not been for a cell phone video. By the time of Floyd's killing, citizens were more likely to document police brutality; it is also likely that public outrage following the verdict on the LAPD informed how the verdict on Chauvin came out. We shall see if the current conversation about racial and economic inequality lasts longer and is more effective than the one sparked by the civil unrest in Los Angeles following the verdict.”
Directed by Taibi Magar, the revival features scenic design by Riccardo Hernández, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Alan C. Edwards, sound design by Darron L West, projection design by David Bengali, and casting by Caparelliotis Casting and X Casting. 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.