There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and the truth. Following the deaths of a Black American boy and a young Orthodox Jewish scholar in the summer of 1991, underlying racial tensions in the nestled community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn erupted into civil outbreak. Fires in the Mirror was Anna Deavere Smith’s groundbreaking response. Birthed from a series of interviews with over fifty members of the Jewish and Black communities, the Drama Desk award-winning work translated their voices verbatim, and in the process revolutionized the genre of documentary theatre. As much provocation as it is exploration, this landmark play launches Anna Deavere Smith’s Residency 1 at Signature. 

Signature is excited to work with Anna Deavere Smith to reimagine this play for new performers and collaborators.

Please note, this production contains the use of herbal cigarettes.

Critics’ Pick! "As performed by the remarkable young actor Michael Benjamin Washington…Fires in the Mirror energizes. It’s one of the consolations of first-rate art that there is always hope in being able to see with newly unobstructed eyes."
- The New York Times

"The viscerally smart, endlessly empathetic Michael Benjamin Washington makes the work sing, and the voices of its real people sound eerily vivid."
The New Yorker  

Time Out New York 

"This one-man show is a must-see!"
- Lupita Nyong’o 
October 22 - December 22, 2019
Running Time
1 hour 45 minutes, no intermission
The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre


Michael Benjamin Washington


Scenic Design
Arnulfo Maldonado
Costume Design
Dede M. Ayite
Lighting Design
Alan C. Edwards
Sound Design
Mikaal Sulaiman
Projection Designer
Hannah Wasileski
Dialect Coach
Dawn-Elin Fraser
Production Stage Manager
Alfredo Macias

Now At The Center