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Intro to Theater: Fires in the Mirror Notes

by: Leah Notetaker

Intro to Theater: Fires in the Mirror Notes THEA 125

Marketplace > University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire > THEA 125 > Intro to Theater Fires in the Mirror Notes
Leah Notetaker
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About this Document

A brief summary of the main points, history, structure, and themes of the play Fires in the Mirror.
Intro Theatre-History
Jennifer Chapman
Class Notes
intro to theater, fires, In, The, mirror, Plays, theater




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leah Notetaker on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 125 at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire taught by Jennifer Chapman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views.


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Date Created: 09/27/16
Fires in the Mirror Notes Background  Written by Anna Deavere Smith  First performed in 1992  One-person show. Also performed by Smith.  Inspired by the events of the Crown Heights Brooklyn Riots of August 1991 o A Jewish man was driving home from his visit to a cemetery when the car swerved towards a sidewalk, killing a young black boy, Gavin Cato, and seriously injuring his cousin. o Protests immediately began. o Hours later, a Jewish man visiting from Australia was ganged up on and murdered. o Riots followed for several days. o Many points of view of the events have come forth.  This play is not about the riots themselves, but the many points of view of the community on identity, language, community, and much more.  Twenty-six characters. Some black, some Jewish.  May be considered postmodern.  Postmodernism- the idea that multiple truths exist at the same time; many layers to it Play Structure  Episodic  Divided Into Six Episodes o Identity- How do I define myself? o Mirrors- How do I define myself as Jewish, black, etc.? o Hair- What are my duties to my community? o Rhythm- The idea that we are constructed by language o Seven Verses- One step closer to the actual event o Crown Heights- The deep grief of a father Fires in the Mirror: A Reflection  A mirror reflects light, creating distortion.  Fires symbolize an event.  The mirrors here symbolize how we each perceive what happens in the event.  In the play, Smith creates a telescope which we experience what the characters are experiencing. o The play begins with a large circle of confusion. o The play ends with the deep grief of a father.


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