Silkaitis’ new theatre company premieres “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992”

Feb 09, 2015

Carin Silkaitis—North Central College assistant professor of theatre, chair of art and theatre, and theatre program coordinator—is artistic director and founder of The Other Theatre Company. Her new company is a collective of artists who love theatre and are dedicated to telling the stories of individuals or groups that are “othered” or marginalized in society. The company staff includes many North Central alumni, students and faculty.

Its premiere production, “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” opened to rave reviews Jan. 23 and runs through Feb. 22 at Chicago’s Chopin Theatre. Directed by Jason Gerace, Jeff Award winner and guest director for North Central productions, the play is written by Anna Deavere Smith.

“Twilight” captures fragments of an especially volatile time in 20th century U.S. racial politics. Some have used the term”L.A. riots” when referring to the direct aftermath of the acquittal of the officers who beat Rodney King in 1991. Others challenged that mainstream name for the explosive events and chose, instead, to call them rebellions, uprisings or disturbances. Each name imagined a different story with different stakes. The L.A. uprisings became a flashpoint for conflicting perceptions of relationships between race, ethnicity, class, power, violence and resistance.
Kelly Howe, North Central College assistant professor of theatre and coordinator of gender and women’s studies, is dramaturg for this production and resident dramaturg for the company. She notes, “In the U.S. of today, in the Chicago of today, ‘Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992’ helps us ask many questions. How can we as citizens respond to the reality that not everyone has the luxury of viewing the police as protectors? How do people react when they feel like their lives don’t matter? How do people make sense of violence they witness firsthand? How do we elevate the news sources that center marginalized voices? How do we make connections across moments without erasing the differences between them? How can we force systemic change where change is so urgently needed?”

“Twilight” brings these probing questions and more to the stage. To learn more, read current reviews and purchase tickets, visit

Click here to view Silkaitis’ profile.