Denis Johnson and "The Starlight on Idaho" | Los Angeles Public Library
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Denis Johnson and "The Starlight on Idaho"

Adapted and directed by Darrell Larson, produced by Cedering Fox Q&A with Denis Johnson
Performed by Christina Avila, Ryan Michelle Bathe, David Call, John Heard, Jan Munroe, Angela Paton, Jeff Perry, Jason Ritter and Brenda Strong
Monday, June 23, 2014
Episode Summary

For decades, celebrated fiction author Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son and Tree of Smoke) has been writing some of the most adventurous plays in modern American theater, with a major trilogy focused on the Cassandra family, a clan so star-crossed that several members are incarcerated, institutionalized or in and out of rehab. The epistolary “The Starlight on Idaho” finds the youngest son, Cass, sobering up in a clinic housed in what was once a hot-sheet motel on Idaho Street, the Starlight. While he’s there he writes screeds, pleas and confessions to members of his family, his AA sponsor, his grade school love and Satan. In this unique adaptation, addressor and addressee voice the letters together. Literature as only Denis Johnson can create it, “The Starlight on Idaho” is not quite a story, not quite a play, it is pure WordTheatre.



Participant(s) Bio

Denis Johnson is the author of plays, poetry, non-fiction and fiction including the National Book Award-winning Tree of Smoke,Train Dreams, and Jesus’ Son. He serves as Playwright in Residence for the Campo Santo Theater Company in San Francisco.

Cedering Fox is the Founder and Artistic Director of WordTheatre. Since partnering with Darrell Larson on Literary Evenings at The Met, she has been creating, producing and directing unique theatrical literary events in America and England: intimate Author/Actor series, themed benefits for other important organizations, performance/readings by actors and authors in Title l Schools. In England, partnered with Kirsty Peart, WordTheate is tapped annually to present the shortlist for The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the richest prize in the world for a single short story. WordTheatre's annual July Writers Workshop and Retreat set in the heart of England's Peak District will be lead by Andre Dubus lll. Cedering’s voice has been heard on hundreds of television promos and commercials as well as on live events such as the 2012 and 2013 Oscars.

Darrell Larson made his New York debut directing and starring in Tom Strelich's Dog Logic with Lois Smith at American Place Theatre. He has directed many Sam Shepard plays, Steve Earle'sKarla and Adam Rapp's 'blistering hiphop apocalyptic horror showFaster. He has collaborated several times with Denis Johnson in: Shoppers Carried By Escalators into the FlamesPsychos Never Dream and The Starlight on Idaho. Larson directed Charles Mee's Big Love and David Ives' All in the Timing, and adapted and directed The Wizard of Oz In Concert. He has acted in over thirty films and scores of television programs. Larson created and hosted Literary Evenings at the MET live and directed and hosted The Act of Poetry for four years at the Chateau Marmont.