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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.

Please note that there will not be a book signing after this program.

Darrell Larson

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’s Karla and Adam Rapp’s ‘blistering hiphop apocalyptic horror show Faster. He has collaborated several times with Denis Johnson in: Shoppers Carried By Escalators into the Flames, Psychos 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.


Denis Johnson

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

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.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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