Crown Heights, Brooklyn. In putting together this play, the playwright Anna Deavere Smith spoke to over fifty black and Jewish residents of Crown Heights shortly after the riots, assembled this piece directly from those interviews and performed it herself in 1992 lifting the genre of documentary theater. The spark that lit the fuse of an explosion.

The fires immediately spread both literally and figuratively. Located in the central lobby adjacent to The Irene Diamond Stage, the Signature Bookstore features numerous titles by and related to our Playwrights-in-Residence, as well as the works that inspired them, artist and staff favorites, and books related to the larger themes of our shows. Signature is excited to work with Anna Deavere Smith to reimagine this play for new performers and collaborators. Fires in the Mirror was Anna Deavere Smith’s groundbreaking response. I’m not going to get into the details of the Crown Heights riots because I want to put my efforts into expressing my admiration for this Signature Theatre production of Fires in the Mirror, currently running at Pershing Square Signature Center, as it takes this bit of history and lifts it to a higher plane.

Text and Performance Quarterly: Vol. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Signature is excited to work with Anna Deavere Smith to reimagine this play for new performers and collaborators.

The strong last visual of all the characters puts a final button on the evening that will haunt with its richness. The mirrors distortions reflect back the full characters and allow movement where there is none, three dimensions where there is only two and an open stage chock full of possibility. The New York Times’ Frank Rich said of that production that it had the “ability to find the unexpected and unguarded in nearly each speaker.” That still stands today in the strong words that are spoken landing 27 years later, the unexpected in viewpoint and the unguarded in personal truth. Writer and Actor Anna Deavere Smith ("The West Wing") gives stunning performances as she sets course on an emotional re-telling of this tragedy. "Nearly three decades after it was first unveiled, the panoramic view provided by Anna Deavere Smith’s “Fires in the Mirror” still makes you catch your breath and shake your head in sorrow. New York, NY 10036

A must see. "Nearly three decades after it was first unveiled, the panoramic view provided by Anna Deavere Smith’s “Fires in the Mirror” still makes you catch your breath and shake your head in sorrow. Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2010. The driver of the car in the rear of the motorcade of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the head of the Lubavitch Hasidic movement, lost control killing a 7-year-old black boy playing on the sidewalk. Michael Benjamin Washington more than proves that it can in Signature Theater Company’s stirring revival of Fires in the Mirror, which opened Monday night. His vision for the piece and what it meant at that time and what it means today carries the piece forward from being a look-back to a this-is-us-now perspective that resonates in the now.

This is the very talented Anna Deveare Smith at her BEST!


Following the deaths of a Black American boy and a young Orthodox Jewish scholar in the summer of 1991, underlying racial tensions in the nestled community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn erupted into civil outbreak. Diva, Diva, Diva. - The New York Times. The standing ovation the night I was there was as much for Mr. Washington’s compelling work as it was for the play and the production.

The subjective truth of this production of Fires in the Mirror, and the subjective reality, is that this is a wonderful evening of theater.

14, No.

Anna Deavere Smith interviews various people who are directly …

1, pp. You won't be able to take your eyes off of her performances. Writer and Actor Anna Deavere Smith ("The West Wing") gives stunning performances as she sets course on an emotional re-telling of this tragedy. Storytelling comes effortlessly to her, she is a consummate artist.

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Signature Theatre is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. I'm so glad that I am aware of Anna Deavere Smith's work, and that her work is part of my life. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in.

MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and National Humanities Medal recipient Anna Deavere Smith joins us as Signature’s Residency 1 playwright for the 2019-20 Season. People are on the street.

Tickets: (212) 244-7529 Anna Deavere Smith's play Fires in the Mirror is a part of her project On the Road: A Search for the American Character.

"Ben Brantley for New York Times, "A theatrical time capsule that feels eerily timely, Anna Deavere Smith’s solo documentary play Fires in the Mirror is getting an appropriately fiery revival at the Signature... Director Saheem Ali deserves credit for eliciting this impressively fluid performance, and although there are minor missteps in this production—too much stage business, an excessively literal set—it is a stirring account of an urgent work of art.

Nothing can compete with seeing this brilliant performer live, I've seen her time and again and have been continually amazed at her effectiveness.

A city riots, exploding in racial tension. Now I can share this with my communication students! Anna Deavere Smith is a genius. Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2010. The particular piece that is for sale here represents her enactment of the perspectives of many people who have witnessed, or perhaps in some way participated in, a riot born of long-held resentments. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Her acting ability and comedic timing are only matched by the genius of her writing.

"Thom Geier for The Wrap, Review of Signature Theatre's Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith.

A Hasidic man's car jumps a curb and kills a seven-year-old black child.

She records interviews with them, and then she enacts the presence of the other.

I've been waiting it seems like forever for this documentation of Anna Deavere Smith's work to become available as visual media.

Description: August 1991. Anna Deavere Smith embodies the other... by that, I mean that she walks into, creates space for, and enacts-with her body and voice-the lived reality (feelings, paradoxes, rants, values, passions, convictions) of other people--all kinds of other people. Birthed from a series of interviews with over fifty members of the Jewish and Black communities, the Drama Desk award-winning work translated their voices verbatim, and in the process revolutionized the genre of documentary theatre. "As performed by the remarkable young actor Michael Benjamin Washington…Fires in the Mirror energizes. Interview. There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and the truth. Please try again.

Arthur Miller photo by Susan Johann. Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith uses monologues to retell the Crown Height Riots.

Fires in the Mirror chronicles the Crown Heights riot in Brooklyn, New York in August 1991.

which creates pathways that we can follow to learn how to understand each other, how to share our human journeys, and how to build peace.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. The Signature Ticket Initiative is a ticket subsidy program dedicated to making every seat for every performance during a production’s initial run affordable. This is one of the most stellar depictions of our social issues in this country ever. Then it happened. 480 West 42nd Street It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. There has been tension in this urban neighborhood for some time as the Jewish community that lives side by side with the African American community has been expanding its footprint, buying up property and changing the landscape. Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2012, I had been meaning to get ahold of this for a while, having just accepted a teaching, Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2010. Saheem Ali’s direction brought temperance and smoothness to the production allowing Mr. Washington a path to follow in his shape-shifting that provided flow to the work and helped to cement each characterization in the broader picture. This play is not meant to find ultimate truth, but to listen to the humanity that doesn’t listen beyond itself and eke out a truth applicable to our own lives, to become better than we were instead of worse. All three deserve the ovation. © 2006 - present, Signature Theatre Company, All Rights Reserved. There are many interpretations of what happened. Scenic designer Arnulfo Maldondo utilizes mirrors on stage to add a 360 degree visual to the piece.


Please note, this production contains the use of herbal cigarettes. Truly fascinating.