THE FSU/ASOLO CONSERVATORY
DEBUTS ITS FIRST ENTIRELY ONLINE
PRODUCTION, ANNA DEAVERE SMITH’S
TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992
SARASOTA, FL – The FSU/Asolo Conservatory is presenting its first entirely online production, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, streaming from December 9 – 20, 2020. The show was originally announced to run from December 2 -13 but these dates have been shifted and the show will now be available from December 9 -20. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush, this originally one-woman play written by Anna Deavere Smith will be performed by our company of second year students as well as some Conservatory alums, all of whom play at least one character. The actors have filmed themselves and each other from their homes as well as on-location in Sarasota. Tickets are $25 with $10 student tickets, available for purchase on our website. Once tickets are purchased, patrons will be sent directions on how to stream the production on our website.
Most arrests don’t end in a broken ankle, fractured facial bones, cuts, bruises, and a stun-gun burn but for Rodney King, a young Black male, excessive force was used to subdue him after he was in police custody. The officers charged with beating him were acquitted, leading to riots breaking out across the city. The story sounds familiar – you may have heard it on the news – but this isn’t 2020, it’s 1992.
The acquittals lead to six days of rioting, 63 deaths, thousands of fires and injuries, and a magnitude of financial damage to the city. In the aftermath, playwright Anna Deavere Smith interviewed more than 300 people directly and indirectly involved with the riots. From these interviews, Smith chose monologues to tell the story.
Originally a one-woman show, this FSU/Asolo Conservatory production will divide the roles across the entire second year class, as well as two alums, giving actors the chance to take on multiple and diverse roles. The students are filming monologues from their homes as well as outdoors in locations around Sarasota. Undaunted by the new process, Conservatory Director Greg Leaming said, “as the Conservatory continues to find new methods of teaching during this year, Twilight represents a particularly exciting means of giving our students the chance to perform in a brilliant play while also introducing this very talented company of second year actors to our community.” This show was selected with careful consideration – “it is timely, fascinating, a real artistic thrill and ultimately very very moving.”
Twilight was first performed 26 years ago in 1994. It was nominated for a Tony Award and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show. It is an example of verbatim theatre.
Director Benny Sato Ambush takes on the challenge of adapting the show for an ensemble as well as the challenge of working and filming remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the timeliness and message of the play motivate him – March 2021 will be the thirtieth anniversary of the savage beating of Rodney King, which begs the question, has our nation changed at all? Ambush believes “many of these problems remain with us today, and in many ways have worsened since 1992. The uprisings beleaguering American cities and towns in 2020 are, like a broken record, repeats of decades-long recurring patterns.”
This socially distanced production of Twilight would not be possible without the creativity of Lighting Designer Aja Jackson, Video/Production Designer Seaghan McKay, Costume Designers David Covach and Dee Sullivan, Sound Designer Ryan Blaney, Hair and Makeup Designer Michelle Hart, Technical Direction/Production Manager Christopher McVicker, Voice and Dialect Coach Patricia Delorey, Movement Coach Eliza Ladd, and Stage Manager Rachel Morris who wrangles them all.
To purchase tickets to stream the recorded production of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, visit tickets.asolorep.org/4156/4157. Once you have purchased your tickets, you will be sent detailed instructions on how to stream the show on our website anytime from December 9-20, 2020.
ABOUT THE CONSERVATORY
The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is a celebrated three-year graduate program culminating in a Master of Fine Arts degree. For more than 45 years, tens of thousands of actors from across the continent have auditioned for admission. A maximum of 12 students are admitted each year. In their second year, the students perform in the Cook Theatre, a 161-seat space designed to create an intimate experience for the audience and actors. Third-year students are seen on the Mertz Stage working with the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s professional actors in exciting and significant roles.
For more information, visit asolorep.org/Conservatory.