Tuesday, March 3, 2009

fires in the mirror

i was first introduced to anna devere-smith's "fires in the mirror" when i read the book way back in 9th grade english class (i had a really great english teacher whose curriculum was brilliant and diverse and progressive). "fires in the mirror" is a series of monologues chronicling the crown heights riots between the african american and hassidic residents of a brooklyn neighborhood in the summer of 1991. in 9th grade, we also watched the full video performance of the play, in which anna devere-smith plays all 26 characters.

years later, when i was a junior in college, anna devere-smith came to give a lecture at my university. she had just released a different book and was holding a book signing after her talk. i went to the lecture and the signing and brought my old marked-up copy of "fires in the mirror", which she graciously signed and briefly discussed with me.

then, last week, i was invited to go to a play at the 16th street theater because a friend of a friend was doing the video design for the show. it turned out the play was "fires in the mirror", and seeing it again was really interesting and thought-provoking. i was surprised how much i remembered of it, and how much it affected me, even though (or maybe because) i was so familiar with it.

2 comments:

lyrebird said...

i'm not sure i can remember the convoluted path that led me to your blog, but i'm glad i found it. i will go back through your archives when i have time, but for now, thanks. it seems very special. oh yes, and i love joanna newsom too.
cheers,
kate

Lizzie said...

hi kate, i'm so glad you found your way here through the blog tunnels. i am off to check out your blog now...
xo lizzie

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