The universality of death doesn’t mean it gets much airtime in our cultural dialogue. So Green-Wood Cemetery commissioned a play about the afterlife as another way of starting a conversation about it.
The result is The Great American Casket Company, a new immersive theater production premiering tonight on the grounds of the cemetery.
“We scratch at the surface of mortality and what that is,” explains John Egan, 33, a member of Bread Arts Collective, the theater troupe that created the show. “What is to leave a legacy and be remembered.”
Sounds like heavy stuff, until you hear the premise: The Casket Company is taking the audience (limited to 75) on a tour of the cemetery as a sales pitch for afterlife services to guarantee a cushy oblivion. “There’s a little bit of symbolism,” Egan deadpans. “We’re not trying to be too profound or too heavy-handed; we’re trying to entertain.”