Media Archive

Denis Johnson’s “Starlight in Idaho”

Denis Johnson
Featuring John Heard, Jason Ritter, and more
June 23, 2014

Literature as only Denis Johnson can create it, “Starlight on Idaho” is not quite a story, not quite a play, it is pure WordTheatre.

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.

This WordTheatre performance was adapted and directed by Darrell Larson and produced by Cedering Fox, and performed by Christina Avila, Ryan Michelle Bathe, David Call, John Heard, Jan Munroe, Angela Paton, Jeff Perry, Jason Ritter and Brenda Strong.

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