Acclaimed Play Small Mouth Sounds comes to The Broad Stage

When it comes to going on a silent retreat, you can sign up for the experience and pack up your meditation cushion or you can buy a ticket to the play Small Mouth Sounds at The Broad Stage from January 11-28. Small Mouth Sounds Playwright Bess Wohl was inspired to write the story after her own experience on a retreat. Now Bess, director Rachel Chavkin, and the cast all invite the audience to examine the questions that come up in the midst of a retreat. In a theater, we sit with our own spiritual experience. 

LA YOGA: Now that Small Mouth Sounds has shown in New York, San Francisco, and some other cities, what are some of the things that have surprised you about the response or the connection with people seeing the show?

Bess Wohl: With Small Mouth Sounds, I wanted to create something that you could access whether or not you were immersed in spirituality or yoga and had been to 8,000 retreats or whether you were completely skeptical of any sort of spiritual movements whatsoever. 

I'm happy to say that I feel like this is a play that the more spiritual regions and communities have embraced. At the same time, people can come to it knowing nothing about this world and relate to the humanity on the stage. In every city where I've seen the play (which includes Stockholm), there has been a mix of people who know a lot about this stuff and people who don’t. Both groups of people have embraced the play. 

Rather than one city being one particular experience, every city has had multiple communities within it that have come to the play in different ways.

Personally, I came to this play after having done—not a lot, but a decent number of retreats—and I had studied a little bit. So I came with some knowledge and as someone who considers themselves a seeker in all these traditions. I'm totally bought in and immersed. The director of the play [Rachel Chavkin] is completely skeptical and really had no idea what I was talking about when I would talk to her about some of the different kinds of people you might encounter in this world. That was actually perfect because she was able to be my litmus test and gauge if somebody with no interest in any of this would still appreciate the play. She and I became this really nice counterpoint as we developed the play together.

Read more of the interview with Bess Wohl on LAYOGA.COM 

For more information and to order tickets, visit The Broad Stage at

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10 Jan 2018

By Felicia Tomasko