Interview in The Brooklyn Rail about O, Earth by Casey Llewellyn

I talked to playwright Susan Soon He Stanton for an interview in The Brooklyn Rail. It was a great conversation! 

"Rail: Something that strikes me in your writing and in your performance art is your relationship with theatricality and intimacy.

Llewellyn: I think those are the things I care about. Maybe they are one thing. Theater is intimacy. I’m obsessed with the audience. I’m obsessed with being in a room together, and being in a group in a room together with whatever a play or a theater experience is—or a work of art that is physicalized. It’s connected to everything to me. This art is something that can only be experienced when we breathe all the same air in the same room. The relationship with the audience is what makes theatricality. If you are in an audience, you want something to happen to you. I don’t want to watch someone else’s story. I’m obsessed with where the audience is in the story and what their experience is. I don’t just want to tell a story and have other people witness it. I’m trying to create work that will allow people go through an experience together."

Read the full interview here.


Interview with Adam Szymkowicz on for his "I Interview Playwrights" blog by Casey Llewellyn

Check out the interview here! Excerpt about O, Earth below: 

"Q:  Tell me about O, Earth.

A:  O, Earth is an exploration of what we're doing here living on earth. It started with reckoning with the theatrical and cultural inheritance of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and takes up many of his themes and concerns while incorporating my own. The characters in the play are concerned with happiness, justice, themselves, each other, their and others' place in the world. I am concerned in the play with the being here-ness and being here together-ness of theater and life (the play will also be at HERE!), so in the play very strange combination of iconic characters reckon with this (ghosts and living people, characters and real people). Part of what I'm interested in is how specificity and universality are represented in theater, and the real consequences of representation and visibility. We each experience life from a singular perspective, so O, Earth is a bunch of very different characters’ engagement with the universal experiences we all share: everyday life, love, and death. Something else specific that I am grappling with in the play is this current moment in gay/queer/trans politics and history in which some of us (white, cisgendered, middle class or rich gay or queer people) have been invited to join the mainstream in the form of unprecedented access to privilege (cultural acceptance, marriage, jobs, visibility, etc.), while issues that affect members of the queer/trans/gay community with less privilege disproportionately have been deprioritized in gay politics (trans and gender non-conforming peoples’ rights, racial justice, de-criminalization of sex work, housing for youth, police profiling, etc.). Even though the most marginalized members of our community are responsible for much of the resistance that has allowed us to get here. Vastly different experiences, access, and choices in the “community” have changed our sense of “our” since people fought together under the banner of gay rights in the last century. So I am thinking about that too. And it’s funny."