Study Guide

Anna Deavere Smith Writing Styles in Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

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Colloquialism

The language of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is not the invention of the playwright. It consists of the actual words used by the real people that she interviewed, and it reflects various dialects and levels of command of English. For many of the figures, English is an adopted language, thus many speeches are rich with unidiomatic expressions and non-standard grammar. Smith's characters talk like real people because they are real people, and Smith as playwright-performer captures the colloquial cadences and texture of their speech in her literal transcriptions. In the case of Chung Lee, President of the Korean-American Victims Association, she even uses a figure who speaks Korean that must be translated by his son. As with her other "characters," Smith studied Lee's speech and renders his voice verbatim in her performances.

Documentary

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 has been called a work of "documentary theater." The events discussed by the...

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This section contains 812 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 Study Guide
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Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.