CCHS Drama Presents:
“Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,”
by Anna Deavere Smith
OPENING NIGHT IS NOVEMBER 21 AT 7 PM!
Due to technically difficulties Open Night has moved to Saturday, November 21.
Streaming from Saturday, November 21 – Sunday, November 29, with our compliments. Enjoy the show!
YOUR SUPPORT IS KEY!
Your tax-deductible donation will directly benefit the students in the CCHS drama program. Write in “drama program” in the instructions.
We thank you for your continued support of our Drama Dons!
News clip from NBC:
ABOUT THE PLAY:
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. Declared a “rich, panoramic canvas of a national trauma” by The New York Times, 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.
For the past three years, Cathedral Catholic has been introspective while addressing the topic of racism. You can visit the school’s Racial Awareness Formation website page to learn more about our work. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Cathedral Catholic remains committed to developing opportunities for students and adults to experience a Catholic and inclusive campus environment.
One action item from this year’s Racial Awareness Formation program is for the drama team to produce a virtual play on the topic of racism and race relations. A production of the play “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” by Anna Deavere Smith, was proposed and the administration approved.
As a fair warning, the play is provocative and emotional. It contains graphic descriptions of violence and adult language. Parental discretion is advised. The play examines the impact of the five days of riots following the Rodney King verdict. The characters displayed are all real people, among the over 300 interviewed by the playwright in the months following the Los Angeles riots. In crafting Twilight, Smith, an award-winning playwright and actor, chose voices that reflected the diversity and tension of a city in turmoil: a Korean shop owner, a white Hollywood talent agent, a Panamanian immigrant mother, a teenage African-American gang member, a macho Mexican-American artist, opera diva Jessye Norman, Rodney King’s aunt, beaten truck driver Reginald Denny, former Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates, and other witnesses, participants, and victims, all of whom she portrayed in her one-woman show, using their words.
It is Ms. Smith’s wish that the piece be performed by casts of all sizes, with roles potentially played by people of genders and races that differ from the character portrayed. In her words, “the idea of the play is to suggest that even in a volatile situation, where tribes, countries, cultures, and races clash, it is important that some individuals have the ability to walk in the shoes of someone different from them, even an enemy.” In this theory, if we walk in a person’s words, we walk in their truth, and, “therefore, in their hearts.”
It is our hope that through the medium of theater, the audience is made more aware of the challenges of race and class in society. We also hope the play encourages self-reflection and empathy, and a renewed sense of responsibility we all share to build a stronger and more inclusive Dons community.