Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

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Twilight: Los Angeles 1992
Written by Anna Deavere Smith
Characters various
Date premiered March 24, 1994 (1994-03-24)
Place premiered Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles
Original language English
Subject Los Angeles riots of 1992
Genre One-person show
Setting Los Angeles, California

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is a one-woman play written and originally performed by American actress, playwright and professor Anna Deavere Smith about the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[1]

The original Broadway production opened at the Cort Theatre[1] in New York City on April 17, 1994 and ran for 72 performances. The play is composed of a series of monologues by real people connected directly and indirectly to the riots; the text of the monologues is taken verbatim from interviews that Smith had conducted with them. The subjects/characters of the play include public officials like LAPD chief Daryl Gates and congresswoman Maxine Waters; a nameless juror on the Rodney King police trial, whose verdict directly led to the riots; various victims and instigators of violence, including, most famously, truck driver Reginald Denny, and residents of Los Angeles with their own view of the events, including singer Jessye Norman and actor Charlton Heston.[2]

Twilight is a direct successor to Smith's previous play, Fires in the Mirror (1992), which, like Twilight, was a one-woman play with monologues based on interview transcripts, covering another recent riot largely based on African American grievances, the Crown Heights riot of 1991. Both plays are considered trailblazers in a genre that has become known as verbatim theatre.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Twilight was nominated for the 1994 Tony Award for Best Play, losing to Angels in America: Perestroika; and Smith was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, losing to Diana Rigg in Medea.


Smith recreated her role in a filmed production in 2000 directed by Marc Levin.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b Richards, David (March 24, 1994). "Review/Theater: Twilight -- Los Angeles, 1992; A One-Woman Riot Conjures Character Amid the Chaos". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b von Busack, Richard (November 23, 2000). "Mob Mentalities". Metroactive. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Reed (April 25, 2012). "Anna Deavere Smith revisits 'Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992'". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ Tanzer, Joshua (October 10, 2000). "The fire last time". 

External links[edit]