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.


O, Earth is a Time Out New York Critic's Pick! by Casey Llewellyn

"One of the loveliest things—in an absolute avalanche of lovely things—about Casey Llewellyn's wide-ranging piece is her title. In calling it O, Earth, Llewellyn quotes from the end of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, when Emily's overwhelmed spirit exclaims, “Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.” This is not so surprising; Llewellyn's postmodern pop-threnody takes Wilder's masterpiece as its matter and prime mover. But the playwright also reflects the fragment through a prism. Written in just that dropped-h way, Llewellyn's title also harkens to Jeremiah (“O, earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord”); say the phrase, you hear the echoes. Llewellyn hides an encompassing lamentation in the words that even Wilder, past master of heartbreak, didn't amplify.

Is that a lot to pin on a title? Not if you see the play itself, which is confident, lyrical, hilarious, unabashedly literate and unapologetically political. It also holds the Wilder text as gently as a robin's egg." --Helen Shaw

Wow! Thanks Helen Shaw for this amazing review! Read the whole thing here. And get your tickets before they're gone!