Anna Deavere Smith. Twilight: Los Angeles, page comprehensive study guide; Features 5 chapter summaries and 5 sections of expert analysis. Twilight has ratings and 85 reviews. Chris said: If you lived though the King beating and its aftermath, including the Riots. You really need to re. This verbatim piece about the Los Angeles riots of , originally researched, written and performed solo by Anna Deavere Smith, proves how.
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A Search for American Character, begun in The twiloght interprets a limited number of these actual people in her s,ith performances, editing and rearranging her raw material amith she deems appropriate. Although she conducted about interviews for the project, in her one-woman performances Smith limits her dramatis personae to between twenty-five and forty-five personalities, depending on her production venue. Her choices have varied as Smith has worked on her command of the diverse people that she represents.
It received almost unanimous critical acclaim, and it has since gained favorable notice in subsequent productions in Princeton, New Jerseyand in New YorkWashington, D.
Los Angeles, was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, the Pulitzer jury disqualified it dravere the grounds that it was not fictional and could only be performed by the interviewer-playwright herself. More than anything else, that decision reflects a critical inability to pigeonhole the work into some familiar category.
Its intention is clear, however; the piece documents a critical time of racial division and civil unrest, not to place blame for what happened, twilighr to help the process of healing through a kaleidoscopic and sympathetic rendering deaverw different viewpoints.
In On the Road: A Search for American Character, the series of plays to which Twilight: Her father owned a coffee and tea business, and her mother was an elementary school principal. However, she did sharpen one skill for which she seemed to have a natural gift—mimicry. That talent earned her a reputation as a bit of a deaverw maker, though she never got in any serious trouble.
It was not until she attended Western High School that she began making friends with people of different ethnic backgrounds, especially the Jewish schoolmates whom she befriended. She has credited that school experience with giving her the sympathy necessary to depict persons with diverse ethnic and cultural heritages in her work.
That sympathy remained latent wmith strong after she graduated from Western in Smith continued her education at Beaver College in Glenside, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia. She first studied linguistics, but grew increasingly restless with the academic regimen in the face of the domestic strife of the late s.
She did graduate from Beaver, but did not really begin to find her professional niche until she inadvertently began taking acting classes at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. It was there that she began developing her fundamental technique of characterization. She turned, instead, to the more objective method of depicting real people, an idea that came to her deavege watching Johnny Angles interview a series of diverse guests on the Tonight Show.
She began taping interviews to challenge her acting students with the task of teilight the speech and verbal mannerisms of the interviewed subjects. A Search for American Character. Smith has also pursued an acting and teaching career that has taken her to several cities and several schools, including New York University, Yale Universitythe University of Southern California, and Stanford Universityin Palo AltoCalifornia, where she has served on the theater faculty since She has appeared in secondary roles in major films and taken her one-woman shows across America.
She has deabere won several prizes and awards, including Tony and Obie awards and, ina much-coveted MacArthur Foundation fellowship. In the conventional sense, Twilight: Los Angeles, has no plot or story line at all. The work consists of a series of monologues, the words of real persons interpreted by Smith in her dual role as playwright-performer.
Twilight: Los Angeles, |
The monologues are edited redactions made up from interviews that Smith conducted in the aftermath of the events that seriously divided the Los Angeles community in the wake of the Rodney G. King beating on the night of Abna 3, The Angelfs Line is twilifht chronological outline of the important events sith by the various voices in the play. George Holiday, a nearby resident, captures the episode on video tape and distributes it to television networks, which repeatedly show it in broadcast news.
King is released from custody, and on March 15, four LA policemen-—Sergeant Stacey Koon and officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno—are charged with a felony and arraigned for their part in the beating. On March 26, on the same day that the four officers charged in the King beating enter an innocent plea, Soon Ja Du is arraigned for murder.
On April 7, Gates takes disciplinary action against the four indicted officers, firing Wind and suspending the other three. The Christopher Commission releases its report on July 9, recommending. About a week later, Gates announces his intention of retiring in Some two months later, the prosecution in the trial of Soon Ja Du begins presenting its case.
On October 11, the court finds Soon guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Three days later, on November 29, LAPD officers kill a black man, leading to a confrontation with about a hundred housing-project residents in the Watts area of LA. Pretrial motions precede the actual trial of the four LAPD ttwilight in the Rodney King case, which begins with opening arguments on March 4, before a jury lacking a single African-American.
Two weeks later the prosecution rests its arguments. On April 13, Briseno admits that King was never a threat to the arresting officers.
Meanwhile, on April 16, Willie L. On April 23, the King-trial jury begins its deliberations, returning a verdict on April The officers are found innocent, except for one charge against Officer Powell for the excessive use of force. The verdict, which results in a mistrial, is widely publicized on television. The feared reaction comes the same day. A peaceful protest rally of over two-thousand people at a South-Central LA church breaks into violence, spreading in a widening circle of shootings, beatings, and looting.
Vandalism eventually leads to arson, engulfing a large section of central LA in fire. Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, is pulled from his cab and severely beaten in an episode caught on video tape and broadcast on television. On the next day, April 30, Bradley imposes a curfew for the whole of LA, but the looting and burning of stores continues in various sections of the city as the violent protest continues. Beginning on May 1, the LA community tries to restore order.
A peace rally draws over a thousand persons, mostly Korean-Americans.
On May 2, city crews start the clean-up, while volunteers carry food and clothing into the devastated areas. Thirty thousand residents march in Koreatown, calling for an end to racial discord. On May 3, the Los Angeles Times announces the toll paid by the community: By May 4, with National Guard troops patrolling the streets, LA citizens start back to work and school, but some cannot return because looted and vandalized businesses remain closed. LAPD officers begin rounding up illegal immigrants suspected of looting or other riot-related crimes.
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 review – voices ring out from Rodney King riots
LA officials turn suspects over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for deportation. The L A Four are arraigned on May 21, charged with thirty-three violations for their attacks on thirteen motorists, including Denny.
Meanwhile, various demonstrations continue. On May 25, Korean grocers meet with leaders of the Bloods and Crips to fashion an alliance. Over the summer and into December, protests continue, but violence is minimal.
In the same month, the Black-Korean alliance breaks off, and on December 14, trouble erupts again when the Free the L A Four Defense Committee demonstrates at the site of the Denny beating. On January 23, ten charges against the L A Four are dismissed, but not the charge of attempted murder. Shortly thereafter, on February 3, the King civil rights trial of the four LAPD officers begins; it concludes two months later, on April Briseno and Wind are acquitted.
However, Powell and Koon are found guilty, and on August 4 are sentenced to a thirty-month term in federal prison. On August 19, the trial of the L A Four begins. It lasts about three months, although the final arguments begin early on, in late September. Jury problems force a verdict delay, as Judge Ouderkirk has to dismiss two jurors in early October. Convictions follow on October Although acquitted of the more serious charges, on December 7, Damian Williams is sentenced to a maximum prison term of ten years for his attack on Denny.
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Although Smith interviewed about people in her research for Twilight: Los Angeles,in the published work containing their monologues she includes just under a third of them. In any given performance of her play, she further limits the number of persons depicted but had included some who are not in the published work.
An example is Maria, Juror 7 in the second Rodney Deavree trial, who was interviewed and added to the Mark Taper Forum production of the play two weeks after it opened. Another example is daevere opera diva Jessye Norman.
Reavere is actually no set cast of characters in Twilight: As lo deems appropriate, Smith selects the cast from her gallery of choices both to fit her specific audience and her artistic aims of the moment. She explains that her organization started after the. He was set free lod was marked thereafter and was eventually picked up and sentenced for a crime that Theresa insists he did not commit. An unnamed white juror in the first Rodney King trial, this soft-spoken man breaks into tears as he recalls his ambivalent feelings about the verdict and its aftermath.
He speaks of the personal confusion and the threats on his life. Most agonizing was a letter received from the KKK offering the jurors its support and extending an offer of membership. That invitation shamed the man and left him remorseful.
A slight, graceful young black, Twilight Bey is a member of the Crips gang and one of the organizers of the truce between the Crips and the Bloods, a rival gang.
He is also the titular character of the play, partly because what he says zngeles limbo—a place between darkness and understanding—is an appropriate thematic metaphor for the entire work. She grieves over the fact that the protesters took to the street with no plan, just rage.
A large, ex-gang member and former convict, Big Al is an activist in the nation-wide truce movement.
Twilight: Los Angeles (film) – Wikipedia
Reginald Denny, the white truck driver beaten and shot at during the LA riot, describes what little he remembers of the experience. Duke explains that Officer Laurence Powell mishandled his baton while beating Rodney King, making his blows weak and ineffective.
He relates, too, that he had tried to find alternatives to the use of batons but was rebuked for devaere efforts. He believes that Chief Daryl Gates wanted to provoke a law suit to prove that the City Council and Police Commission had made a mistake in banning older choke holds techniques. Elvira Evers is a Panamanian woman, who, during the rioting, while pregnant, is shot smiyh taken by ambulance to St. The baby has the bullet lodged in her elbow, but it is successfully removed. Describing the events, Elvira remains s,ith unemotional.