TAMPA, Fla. – It’s challenging enough to be a lead in a play, but to be the only person on the stage in the entire production takes tenacity and talent. Andresia Moseley has such a gift. The Jobsite Ensemble member and nationally-recognized spoken word artist will play over two dozen distinct characters in the premiere of Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, at Jobsite Theatre, running November 11- December 2nd at the Straz Center.
With sobering parallels to the current overt abuse of people of color by law enforcement, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, tells the story of the Rodney King verdict and the riots that erupted as a result.
Moseley embodies each character, changing physicality, diction, and pace of speech to become a completely different person, morphing before your eyes from male to female, changing ethnicities.
“It’s an adventure. It’s an extremely strong analytical show in the sense of every character moves and speaks differently,” said Andresia. “It’s a caveat of races.”
Each character portrayed gives an interview account from their perspective.
Andresia determined who each of her characters was based on what they said.
“I spent countless amount to weeks figuring out who they are physically. Do they speak with a high tone? Do they speak somewhere in the middle? Are they loud? Are they soft? I did a whole of physical work first, and then when I put their actual words to how they move, I am able to keep straight who’s who – who inhabiting my body at that time.”
Director David M. Jenkins described Moseley’s performance as riveting.
“Andresia divines these people. One of my favorite things in this process is watching her channel the essence of that human that enters her. I really enjoy watching these people take possession of her. When it happens, you can truly see it. It’s like a switch. It’s amazing to watch.”
Defined as a “living newspaper,” Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 doesn’t offer solutions; rather, it leaves the patron to decide.
“This production does not take sides. It is without editorial. It’s actual transcription. Anna Deavere Smith gets hundreds of hours of interviews and works with a team of dramaturges, so the work she puts on stage is truly inclusive and multi-salient in perspectives offered. Through that, she doesn’t look to give an answer,” said Jenkins. “She simply is there like a newspaper, stating the facts – this is this person’s position, this is this person’s experience, and she really does leave it on the audience to make their own decisions and have their own informed deduction. Why that’s important today is because we don’t get news like – the left or the right.”
When asked why it’s important to see this production, Moseley didn’t hesitate in her response.
“It is now. The protests are now. The fortunate thing for Rodney is he didn’t get killed, but he could have. Everything we’ve experienced in these 8 or 9 months, we’ve been through it as a culture and a society. Those same issues in this work are the exact same issues driving now. It’s important because it’s reflective. I’d love to say that this is just something I’m doing based on what happened in the past and have that separation, but I can’t because this is my now experience. We have to figure this out because this can’t be where we keep coming back to. We can’t keep doing Twilight in real life.”
To see a full list of characters played by Moseley click here.
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 run November Nov. 11, 17, 18, and Dec. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. at Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater. Tickets are available online at https://strazcenter.org/Events/Straz/Shows/2021_Theater/Twilight-Los-Angeles,-1992. To learn more about Straz Center’s full safety protocols, visit https://www.strazcenter.org/Plan-Your-Visit/COVID-19-SAFETY-PRECAUTIONS