San Marcos,
16:28 PM

CSUSM Theatre Presents “Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992” April 10-19

Media Advisory by Margaret Chantung

The theatre program at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is pleased to present Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992, a play by award-winning playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith, April 10-19.

In 1991, the violent police assault of African American Rodney King ignited international outrage after being captured on videotape and aired widely. A year later in 1992, in the aftermath of the trial and acquittal of the four Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with assault, protest and riots broke out in the streets of Los Angeles where the incident took place.

Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992 is the result of nearly 300 interviews Anna Deavere Smith conducted in a nine-month span with gang members, police officers, lawyers, activists and shopkeepers from a diversity of class and racial backgrounds after the riots. The technique, often called theatre of testimony or documentary theatre, draws on traditions of oral history and is often used as a catalyst for social change. Smith has become an innovator in documentary theatre by cultivating solo performances based on the interviews she collects, and she originally performed Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992 as a solo show. The work was nominated for the 1994 Tony Award for Best Play.

Although the play is traditionally a one-woman show, the CSUSM production features a small cast in which each actor plays a range of characters.

Recent news coverage following recent allegations of excessive force by police departments in Missouri and New York makes Twilight especially relevant.

“We selected the play prior to Ferguson and had no idea that it would be so timely,” said Director Kaja Dunn, “but this has provided our cast a way to dialogue together and use theatre as a platform to discuss hard topics. For the audience, we are looking forward to this production being an opportunity to facilitate additional open dialogue and have a conversation without the fear of saying the wrong thing.”

Four performances will be followed by panel discussions with faculty experts and community leaders to allow for further discussions on the topics of social justice, art, education, law and faith.

  • What: CSUSM theatre performance of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
  • When:
    • Friday, Apr. 10 at 7 p.m., followed by an Audience Talk Back panel discussion on arts and social justice
    • Saturday, Apr. 11 at 2 p.m., followed by an Audience Talk Back panel discussion on education and social justice
    • Saturday, Apr. 11 at 7 p.m., followed by an Audience Talk Back panel discussion on law and social justice
    • Friday, Apr. 17 at 7 p.m.
    • Saturday, Apr. 18 at 2 and 7 p.m.
    • Sunday, Apr. 19 at 2 p.m., followed by an Audience Talk Back panel discussion on faith and social justice.
  • Where: CSUSM Performance Hall: Arts Building, Room 111.
  • Tickets: Tickets are $5 and available for purchase online or at the door.

Directions and Parking: CSUSM is located at 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos. Parking is available in campus lots with fees depending upon length of stay. Parking Structure 1 is the closest lot to the Arts Building, at the corner of Campus Way and Campus View Drive. For more information or directions to the campus, visit