Midterm Review2 - Fires in the Mirror Crown Heights...

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- “Early on in my work, I wanted to use my body as the evidence that a human being can take on the identity of another. I think we all have immense potential for compassion as individuals. But that gets stopped when we take on fixed positions.” - On the Road: A Search for American Character -Long-term project (1982-today) - “Character lives in language. If you say a word often enough, it becomes you.” - “Becoming” a character through impersonation - Mimicry/mimesis - “imitation” The Incident - Racially divided community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn (90% African- American/Afro-Carribean, 10% Lubavitcher), Tensions on both sides - August, 1991*, Crown Heights, Brooklyn: Two deaths: Gavin Cato & Yankel Rosenbaum Play - Performance meets journalism, 26 interview subjects, Varying degrees of closeness to the incident, Arranged to spiral closer and closer to those touched directly by the violence, No ultimate statement of truth or fact, Words as information, words as poetry - Every performance is a new interpretation - Majority of each character only has one excerpt from their interview- Reverend Al Sharpton has more than one a. Written in 1992- Anna Deavere Smith interviewed a wide variety of people who had some theme connection to the shooting in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. One young black child, Gavin Cato, was hit by the car of a Jewish leader in the community, and a few hours later a young Jewish boy, Yankel Rosenbaum, was stabbed to death by blacks. b. This play is set up in interview form. The interviews are not in chronological order. All characters in the play are played by Smith. c. Crown Heights, Brooklyn d. There is no main character. The characters all have small monologues with varying degree of knowledge of the event- some speak twice- that come from real interviews with these real people. e. Interview form- real words, real pauses, real ‘um’. Words as information, words as poetry f. There are not many props. You can always tell by the scene where the person is. The costumes were evident in creating a vision of the character. g. 1993- PBS video production Directed for television by George C. Wolfe h. Smith wanted to be able to share a story and prove that it’s still unending and never answered. She wanted to leave the interviewee speechless. i.
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2012 for the course ENG 120 taught by Professor Hunt during the Spring '12 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Midterm Review2 - Fires in the Mirror Crown Heights...

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