Sacramento Event: American River College Theatre Presents Anna Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror
The New York Times described Anna Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror as “...quite simply, the most compelling and sophisticated view of racial and class conflict that one could hope to encounter,” and American River College (ARC) Theatre’s production of the work honors that legacy in every way. The play will be available for online streaming on October 9, 10, 16, and 17.
Produced amidst the current outcry to violence against Blacks in America, this moving piece of “documentary theater” was written in 1991 during and after the race riots in Crown Heights (Brooklyn), New York. These riots began after the deaths of a Black American boy and a young Orthodox Jewish scholar in a small corner of New York, but reflected the pent-up tensions from a much greater area. Smith interviewed more than 50 people, ultimately honing the play into 26 monologues taken verbatim from the interviews. Although the riots were between the Black and Jewish communities decades ago, the voice of each interviewed person rings with a truth that modern audience will find both powerful and chilling.
Director Sam Williams’ passion for and approach to Fires in the Mirror drew the attention not only of local student actors but of ARC Theatre's alums from across the country as well. Thus, actors from New York and Chicago are featured alongside local community theater veterans and experienced college actors. Originally, Anna Deavere Smith performed all 26 “characters” herself. In this production, the many Black and Jewish people featured are played by men and women of multiple ages and ethnicities. Smith's interviews included both the well-known and the unknown, including people connected directly with riots as well as those on the fringes whose lives were greatly affected.
ARC's production of Fires in the Mirror, which will also feature original music by David Williams, will be available through the publisher’s streaming service. To view the show, go to http://arctheatre.org in advance to secure a digital ticket. The cost of each ticket is “pay-what-you-can,” which will help defray the many expenses involved in the production. For more information, go to http://arctheatre.org or email [email protected]
Date & Time
Weekly on Friday and Saturday
Oct 09, 2020 through Oct 17, 2020