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PlayTime: Fires in the Mirror

Aug 20, 2020 - Aug 20, 2020 | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Pittsburgh Public Theater
621 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

In Crown Heights, Brooklyn during the late summer of 1991, a senseless tragedy caused the long-simmering tensions between the area’s Black and Hasidic Jewish communities to boil over into a national crisis. Gavin Cato, a young Caribbean-American boy, was killed when a collision caused a car to veer onto the sidewalk. Several onlookers revolted when the Jewish driver of the wrecked car was rescued before Cato, and riots erupted over the next three days resulting in widespread property damage, hundreds of injuries, and the murder of Australian Jewish doctorate student Yankel Rosenbaum. Anna Deavere Smith’s masterful one-person play Fires in the Mirror thrillingly combines live theater and journalism to give voice to over twenty people who lived through that volatile time, including the Reverend Al Sharpton, legendary playwright Ntozake Shange, Gavin’s father Carmel Cato, and Yankel’s brother Norman Rosenbaum. In a legendary performance, Anna Deavere Smith transformed into these characters through a series of monologues in the play’s premiere at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1992. As we observe the 29th anniversary of these events, esteemed director Tim Rhoze and virtuosic performer Bria Walker (Public PlayTime’s Romeo and Juliet and The Boougie Gentleman) will come together in an extraordinary collaboration to realize the many stories of Fires in the Mirror and the many ways to tell a truth.

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