Student production explores issues of racial violence


Source: Devon Levy

“Twilight: Los Angeles 1992” opens on Friday at the Musetter-Struble Theater. The play focuses on tension surrounding the riots after the acquittal of four white LAPD officers for beating Rodney King.

Amanda Svachula, Assistant A&E Editor


Race. Justice. Violence. These are the themes Northwestern students will explore this upcoming week in their performance of “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992.” The play deals with the tension surrounding the riots that occurred in Los Angeles in 1992, most likely due to the acquittal of four white LAPD officers for beating Rodney King.

“I actually picked this play in the wake of hearing about various protests in response to the Ferguson case,” said Jamie Joeyen-Waldorf, director of the show. “It is a documentary theater piece analyzing racial tensions that resonate in modern day society but through the lens of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. All the words from the show are taken verbatim from the interviews the author collected in the aftermath of the events of the time.”

The show’s cast is made up of seven members — each who play several characters throughout the production. This differs slightly from the original version of the show, which was performed by only one woman. Joeyen-Waldorf said that in order to tie other points of view into the show, the actors play characters that differ from their own personal identities.

“We have an Asian man playing a black man,” the Communication freshman said. “I think that is something people will be surprised at, but once people see that (all the cast members) do it, then they will think about them and really connect with the characters. We want the actors to portray the opinions as realistically as possible and not portray their objectivity.”

By featuring a wide range of identities, “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992” explores a multitude of perspectives and ideas for people to think about.

“I truly don’t find any bias in this show at all, which is really unique,” said cast member Angelina Strohbach, a Weinberg freshman. “I feel like the writer included so many different people, and it captures so many perspectives.”

The show, which features a minimal set design as to not take away from the importance of the stories told, will be performed in the Musetter-Struble Theater on April 24 and 25 as part of NU’s Struble Project Series.

There is no gore or flashing lights to indicate violence, because the stories, in the form of monologues, bring the show to life, said cast member Alexander Milinazzo.

“What we’re dealing with is something that actually happened,” the Communication freshman said. “It’s not a show that was written as an example. We don’t do anything especially graphic, we just make it factual.”

In light of Ferguson and with the advent of many issues involving race and police violence in the news, the show aims to create discussion about justice in the NU community.

“Northwestern as a student body struggles with issues of race and I think it’s a play that does address a wide variety of opinions,” Joeyen-Waldorf said. “It helps examine the processes of how these problems arise and how it’s difficult to blame things on one particular part of society. I’m interested in the reactions and how they will vary.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the school that Angelina Strohbach is in. Strohbach is a Weinberg freshman. The Daily regrets the error.

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