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LIU Revives Play About 1991 Crown Heights Riot

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The LIU Brooklyn Performing Arts Department’s production of Fires in the Mirror, a play by Anna Deavere Smith, will run March 27 to 31 at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts.

Fires in the Mirror chronicles the response to the Crown Heights riot of 1991 when a car from the motorcade of a Jewish religious leader struck and killed Gavin Cato, a young African-American child. Racial tensions exploded between the African-American and Jewish communities, leading to a string of violent incidents and a civil lawsuit, rocking the city.

The play was originally created by Anna Deavere Smith as a one-woman show, in which she portrayed 35 different characters, and through monologues, examined the stress of the time. Some of these characters include Rev. Al Sharpton, George C. Wolfe, Dr. Leonard Jeffries and the father of the injured boy. For the LIU production, nine students and one professional actor, under the direction of Misti B. Wills, will depict the various characters.

The New York Times called the original production “quite simply the most compelling and sophisticated view of urban racial and class conflict that one could hope to encounter.”

Fires in the Mirror runs Tuesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, March 28, at noon and 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 31, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, $5 for seniors; free for LIU students. Kumble Theater is located on Flatbush Avenue, between DeKalb Avenue and Willoughby Street, in Downtown Brooklyn. For tickets, contact the Kumble box office at (718) 488-1624.

March 26, 2012 - 10:20am


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