UW-Green Bay Theatre seeks to create social awareness, hope with production

Green Bay, Wis.–University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre’s latest production, “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” explores the riots that erupted when police officers charged in the 1991 beating of Rodney King were acquitted.

Playwright Anna Deavere Smith, an innovator in documentary theater, interviewed hundreds of Angelenos over nine months, creating a mosaic of classes, professions, genders and races that tells the story from the perspectives of multiple witnesses.

“Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” is a personal examination of racial tensions, police violence and their enduring impact on communities. Thirty years after the police attack on King was captured by a video camera, the death of George Floyd during his arrest in Minneapolis last summer, an event also captured on camera, is all too familiar. Smith’s text raises issues of social injustice and challenges audiences to think deeply about their sense of identity and the identities of others.

Originally performed by the author as a solo show, the UW-Green Bay production of “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” will be performed by 10 actors portraying multiple roles. The cast is diverse and the characters they inhabit do not always match their gender or ethnicity. Director Alan Kopischke acknowledges this may be “uncomfortable, seeing (especially white) actors taking on dialects/mannerisms/speech patterns of traditionally marginalized and oppressed people.” But in his casting, he sought to adhere to the author’s powerful idea that “it is important that some individuals have the ability to walk in the shoes of someone different from them, even an enemy.”

Because this production presents such a powerful and timely message, the theatre department will stream the production free of charge to increase its accessibility. It will be available to stream on-demand Thursday through Sunday. A reservation is required to receive the streaming link.

Audiences should note the production contains adult content and strong language, including profanity and hate speech and is recommended for mature audiences.

Additional information about the production and ticket reservation information can be found at www.uwgb.edu/theatre.


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