|Firehouse Theatre is pleased to announce that it has added Anna Deavere Smith’s groundbreaking FIRES IN THE MIRROR to its SEASON OF DISCOVERY. The solo performance features Jamar Jones and is directed by Katrinah Carol Lewis. FIRES IN THE MIRROR will open on Friday, March 26 and run thru Sunday, April 25, 2021.|
The full title of Smith’s play is FIRES IN THE MIRROR: CROWN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN AND OTHER IDENTITIES. She wrote the play after the Crown Heights neighborhood erupted in three days of violent race riots in August, 1991. The riots were incited by the death of Gavin Cato, a seven year old Black boy who was the son of Guyanese immigrants. He was playing on the sidewalk near his apartment and was killed when one of the cars in Rebbe Menachem Schneerson’s motorcade jumped the curb. Schneerson was the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Jewish community. The violence quickly escalated and later that evening Yankel Rosenbaum, an Orthodox Jewish rabbinical student who was visiting from Austria, was murdered by a group of Black youths in retaliation for Cato’s death. TIME Magazine was among the many news outlets that reported that the Crown Heights riots were “the worst episode of racial violence in New York City since 1968, after the death of Martin Luther King.”
FIRES IN THE MIRROR is constructed from twenty-six monologues that are the verbatim interviews that Smith conducted with a range of subjects including Gavin Cato’s father, Yankel Rosenbaum’s brother, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Aaron S. Bernstein (a physicist at M.I.T.). Smith performed all the roles in her one-person show when it premiered at The Public Theater (NYC) in 1992.
FIRES IN THE MIRROR marks Katrinah Carol Lewis’ directing debut at Firehouse. She was most recently seen on stage as a member of the PASSING STRANGE ensemble. Jamar Jones has appeared at Firehouse in PASSING STRANGE, UBU 84, and THROUGH THEIR EYES. The production designer is Todd Labelle, costume designer is Margarette Joyner, dialect coach is Erica Hughes, and stage manager is Emily Vial.
Firehouse will continue its practice of contactless theatre, with severely limited seating capacity of a maximum of 10 audience members at each performance, as well as other safety protocols. Select performances will be live streamed.
Go to firehousetheatre.org/fires-in-the-mirror for more information, specific performance schedule, and to purchase tickets.