casey llewellyn – come in. be with me. don’t touch me. at 95 empire
Come in. Be with me. Don’t touch me. is a process-oriented experiment in writing, collaborating, and making theater by Casey Llewellyn. She will live in 95 Empire for two weeks, from March 4th through the 17th, making things each day with special guest collaborators and show 45 minutes of what she has made that day every night at 9pm. The impetus for this piece to connect community and making process and see what unknown things come of it. CHECK OUT THE WHOLE SCHEDULE HERE.
Hi, Casey Llewellyn. First of all, I know who you are. But I’ve never asked. So who are you?
My name is Casey Llewellyn. I am 28. I am queer. I’m a cancer. I grew up in Boston and am from New York.
Well, your not a cancer to me. I think you’re quite dear. And here’s another question I’ve never asked: I know you don’t REALLY make theatre, but do you?
Yes, I make theatre and performances and write. Is there a word missing from this question? My bio says I make work interrogating identity, collectivity, and form. I think I am still doing that. And about the scraping of the self against the outside. That’s actually a good way to think about this new piece I’m working on.
And are you like anybody else?
Yes. I am like some other people. My ex recently texted me to say that my doppelganger was working the front desk at the queer clinic in Chelsea. And once, another friend emailed saying a lot of people in the Atlanta airport looked like me. But I’m not exactly like anyone. Privately I like to think, “you have never seen what I’m doing before.” Yikes! Private walls coming down already! Some people I like to feel close to are Chris Kraus and Kathy Acker. And someone who’s influenced me in making this piece is Dawn Kasper.
This playwriting program at Brown seems to be consistently bringing some great artists to Providence. Is it easy to get involved with things / do work outside of Brown?
Yes! I feel so excited to be in the amazing company I’m in in that program. And yeah, it’s been easy to get involved with things outside of Brown. It’s hard to have time to really do it up though, with all the school work. I run a queer salon out of houses with Ren Evans and Chana Morgenstern, and for a while I was doing something called Queer Movement Project with some folks in my apartment, and then at Carpenter Street where we did physical acting exercises.
Okay, now your residency “event”…I hear it is cloaked in mystery! Is there anything you want to tell us about it that can tease our curiosity? Or is it all top secret!?
Actually, it’s an event in which I’m trying to make a lot visible, so it’s ultra-un-top secret. Everything will be walk-into-able, a really big experiment in which I live in the theater for the two weeks of my residency and make a piece with Vanessa Gilbert that we’ll show at the end. I’ll be up to various things. There will be different collaborations, interactions, invitations. My door (95 Empire’s door) will always be open, unless it’s locked, March 3rd-March 17th. Come by and check it out.
This still seems ultra top mysterious to me because I don’t know where the stage will be, oh my god, where will I look!?
I think you’re funny. Will you be ‘there’?
Yeah, OK, I’ll attend. You are funny. Is the residency event going to be funny or are you over being funny? Is anybody else at Brown funny? Is it hard to be funny at brown? Am I funny?
Thanks, Ric. I don’t know how funny this thing will be. I’m definitely not over being funny, but this piece is kind of choose-your-own-adventure, so I’m gonna be trying to figure out how to make a joke land. And that’s a process I invite you to be part of. There’re some funny people at Brown, but it’s hard to bridge the space between, so that’s the struggle of the funny person there. Thank God, I’m not having that struggle right now.
INTERVIEW BY RIC ROYER.