Suspending disbelief: (How) do art and atheism go together?; Gwydion Suilebhan

All art is storytelling in one form or another. Artists create stories they want people to believe…at least for a while. Some art is forgettable, but some of it – the powerful stuff – stays with us for hours after we leave the theater or the gallery or after we turn off the television…and some of it we just can’t shake. It takes on a life of its own, becoming more real than it has any right to be. Are our religious stories like this? Are they art run amok? How long should disbelief really be suspended?

Gwydion Suilebhan is a playwright who self-identifies as a secular humanist and who lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Maura. His play “The Reals” is being performed by St. Louis’s Hot City Theatre company for the 5th Annual GreenHouse New Play Festival. Gwydion earned his M.A. in poetry from Johns Hopkins University, and his poetry and articles have appeared in many publications. He has also taught playwriting, creative writing, and literature at Johns Hopkins and the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and has been accepted into the Mead Theatre Lab program three times. In 2009 he was a finalist for Outstanding Emerging Artist at the D.C. Mayor’s Arts Awards.