Performed September 3 - 26, 2009
at the Manny Fried Playhouse
regional debut of
Voices of the 1992 LA Riots
by Anna Deavere Smith
review of our production:
THREE AND HALF STARS!!!
"Groundbreaking and powerful"
Colin Dabkowski, BUFFALO NEWS 9/9/09
here to read this review
To kick off our 2009-2010 Season of Plays, we
were thrilled to present the regional debut of Anna Deavere Smith's incendiary
docu-drama TWILIGHT. This breath-taking docu-drama beautifully
the sorrow, the drama, the intensity, the prejudice, the pain, and even a few
of comedy that made up the L.A. Riots of 1992. Touching on issues of
injustice, race hatred, inequality, police brutality, gang violence, and urban
anger, our production of TWILIGHT rang out with no less relevance than
when it was first written in the immediate aftermath of Riots in 1992.
Using her self-styled approach to "Documentary
Theatre", Obie Award-winning playwright Anna Deavere Smith
interviewed dozens of people who directly experienced the Riots -- from famous
names like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Trucker Reginald Denny, and Black
Panther Leader Elaine Brown to everyday, firefighters, gang
members, Korean store owners, etc. -- and crafted them into a two-act play
where one actress portrays all these disparate characters in a series of
The result is a play that tells audiences about the heart-wrenching events of the
Riots with the words of people who actually lived through it. Their many
stories boil with pain and prejudice, with disgust and disbelief, with outrage
and resistance and forms a crucial reminder of the largest-scale urban
uprising in American History.
For our production, we were very lucky to feature
local actress Victoria Perez in play's 19 different roles. Male
and female, old and young, Black, white, Latino, Asian, angry and
compassionate, outspoken and shy, direct and evasive, defiant and repentant --
Victoria deftly recreated TWILIGHT's dizzying array of real life
characters in a tour-de-force performance.
In his three-and-a-half star review, Buffalo News
Arts Writer Colin Dabkowski proclaimed our production to be "A
ground-breaking piece of documentary theatre [with] pit stops at every imaginable spot on the emotional
spectrum." In a subsequent article he further declared: "Taking in a performance of TWILIGHT is an antidote
. . . By witnessing the racially motivated strife
of another city -- from the distance of almost two decades and some
2,500 miles -- we can gain insight into the complexities of our own city's
racial disparities and struggles."
We at Subversive Theatre were honored to have the
opportunity to bring this all TOO relevant play to Buffalo audiences.
Here the rundown on who did what:
Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . Virginia Brannon*
Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . Rachel Zeller*
Set Design . . . . . . . . . . . . Dyan O'Connell*
Sound Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Joe Grabka
Costume Design . Tamara S. Hopersberger*
Lighting Design . . . . . . . Craig Freudenthal*
Videography Brian Milbrand, Holly Johnson
House Management . . . . . . . . Tom Scahill*
sound recordings were generously compiled by Brian Wantuch, Virginia Brannon*,
and Rachel Zeller*
Special thanks for the use of
technical equipment and support materials goes out to the Squeaky Wheel Media
Arts Center, David King, Jim Knight, Susan Anner, Brian Zybala, Brian Wantuch,
and the Theatre Department of Niagara University.
Playbill and Web Design as well as Photography was provided by Kurt
Special thanks also goes out to Tom
Izard*, Michael Fanelli*, Jack Agugliaro*, and Kurt & Jeanette
Schneiderman* for assistance with Theatre Set-Up and Construction.