Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

A.R.T. Guide

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 Edition

Artistic Director’s Welcome


It is an honor to welcome Anna Deavere Smith back to the American Repertory Theater. Anna first performed Twilight nearly 30 years ago in Los Angeles, in the wake of the unrest that erupted following the police officers’ acquittal in Rodney King’s police brutality case. She has now revised her landmark solo play for an ensemble cast of performers. In revisiting this work, she asks us to consider what has happened, and what has not, since the summer of 1992.

For over three decades, Anna’s work has been a driving force in the life of the A.R.T., and in the broader life of Harvard University. Anna made her A.R.T. debut in 1992 with her solo work Fires in the Mirror, followed by Let Me Down Easy (2008) and Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education (2016). From 1998 to 2000, Anna also convened the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, co-hosted by A.R.T. and the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, and her plays continue to be studied and discussed throughout the university.

Read on in this Guide for more on Anna’s process and this new production, including a note from Anna herself and a retrospective on Anna’s longstanding relationship with the A.R.T. We’re also excited to share a reflection on Twilight by Professor Ju Yon Kim, who chairs Harvard’s Theater, Dance & Media concentration. Don’t miss Professor Kim in conversation with Harvard scholars Timothy Patrick McCarthy and Tracy K. Smith in Twilight Revisited: Dusk or Dawn?, a virtual discussion to be held on September 20.

I can’t think of a better production to launch our 2022/23 programming. Following Twilight, we are excited to share both Life of Pi and The Wife of Willesden, coming to the A.R.T. in December and February. Each of these pieces are adaptations, viscerally bringing to life onstage the novel by Yann Martel and a section of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

See you in the theater!


Anna Deavere Smith and Cornel West in Discussion

Live streamed after a November 2021 performance of Twilight at Signature Theatre in New York City and moderated by Andrew Shade, CEO/Artistic Director of Broadway Black.