April 20, 2001

New York's Stage on Screen Presents Twilight: Los Angeles, Anna Deavere Smith's Multi-Voiced Portrait of the Uprising That Rocked The Nation

On March 3, 1991, an African-American man was brutally beaten by four white Los Angeles police officers who stopped him for speeding. When the mostly white jury's "Not Guilty" verdict dismissed the officers on trial for the assault, public reaction set into motion a chain of events that culminated in three days of rioting, looting, and violence that challenged race relations across America.


Anna Deavere smith as scholar Cornel West in "Twilight: Los Angeles."

Ten years after the fateful assault on Rodney King. Thirteen's new drama series Stage on Screen presents Twilight: Los Angeles, the film adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith's searing one-woman play that captures this tumultuous and pivotal moment in American history. Conceived, written and performed by the award-winning actor/playwright and directed by filmmaker Marc Levin (Slam, 1998 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner), the film weaves together master acting, news footage and documentary interviews to examine the rage, loss and shattered hope in the wake of a tragic affair that pitted blacks, whites, Latinos, and Koreans against one another. Stage on Screen: Twilight: Los Angeles premieres on Sunday, April 29, 2001 at 9 p.m. on PBS.

"Anna Deavere Smith is among the most exciting figures in contemporary American drama," said Stage on Screen creator Jac Venza, director of culture and arts programming for Thirteen. "Twilight: Los Angeles, her collaboration with the celebrated filmmaker Marc Levin, is a potent work that exploits the power of both live theater and cinema —a perfect fit for the premiere season of a new series whose mandate is to present the best in world-class drama to viewers everywhere."

Anna Deavere Smith has been credited with inventing a new form of theater —a blend of performance, social commentary, and journalism that probes some of society's most controversial issues. Stage on Screen: Twilight: Los Angeles brings her critically-acclaimed play Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 to a national audience, along with her mission—to make people think, talk, and take action.

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