Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group is currently in rehearsal for a reimagined production of Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. Originally performed as a solo piece by Smith, the show has been reimagined for a cast of five.
Performances will begin March 8 and run through April 9. Opening night is set for March 15.
The production will star Hugo Armstrong, Lovensky Jean-Baptiste, Lisa Reneé Pitts, Jeanne Sakata, and Sabina Zúñiga Varela. The playwright stopped by the first rehearsal to meet with the cast, director Gregg T. Daniel, and CTG Associate Artistic Directors Tyrone Davis and Neel Keller, and other members of the company.
Drawing on more than 300 interviews with politicians, activists, police, jurors, shopkeepers, and other Los Angelenos, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 explores the uprising sparked by the acquittal of the police officers in the Rodney King case and the tensions which had already been simmering.
Smith commented in an earlier statement on the revision, “The work was never meant to be restricted to a one person show format. I wanted all of my works to be done by groups of actors, especially in schools and universities, or in communities where discussion might follow. Democracy is all about a variety of individuals working towards a goal. The cast of a play can exemplify that."
The creative team includes scenic designer Efren Delgadillo Jr., costume designer Samantha C. Jones, lighting designer Brandon Baruch, sound designer Jeff Gardner, projection designer Yee Eun Nam, dialect coach Erin Nicole Washington, and EDI consultant Sharifa Johka. Original music is by Tru, and movement is by Stephen Buescher with dramaturgy by Dorinne Kondo, Marcos Nájera, and Lindsay Jenkins. Casting is by Nicole Arbusto. Shawna Voragen will serve as production stage manager.
Originally commissioned by Center Theatre Group, where Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 made its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in May 1993 in a sold-out run, it was subsequently mounted at The Public Theater, on Broadway, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and most recently at Signature Theatre with the reconceptualized production for five actors.