By Joey Yazell–
Actors Theatre of Louisville is premiering “Sleep Rock Thy Brain” at this year’s 37th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. It is an innovative collaboration that won’t soon be forgotten. Actors Theatre has teamed up with several partners throughout the city to help produce this intelligent and funny play.
“Sleep Rock Thy Brain” will be performed by Actors Theatre Acting Apprentice Company from March 22 through April 7. A student rendition of Sleep Rock Thy Brain by the UofL Theater Arts Department will follow from April 10 through the 14.
After months of preparation, rehearsals, research, and interviews, both productions are scheduled to take place at Lincoln Elementary School. Original aerial choreography from ZFX Effects will be featured in each group’s production.
The intricate series of three, one-act plays will take you deep into the exploration of the mysteries of sleeping and dreaming. The writers of this project (Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath, and Anne Washburn) collected and used research from the U of L Medical Center and Sleep Center to assist them with this project.
“Sleep Rock Thy Brain” has been put together with the help of Lincoln Elementary, U of L Medical Center, U of L Sleep Center, U of L Theater Arts Department, and Louisville based Stage Flight Company ZFX Effects.
Actors Theatre’s Managing Director, Jennifer Bielstein said, “It is a unique occasion to collaborate with these organizations. Their enthusiasm and the collective imagining of three renowned playwrights have inspired an exciting program of community-wide events and activities.”
This truly remarkable project is raising the bar for universities and theatre companies around the country. This is a one of a kind partnership that we are all so fortunate to have the opportunity to watch it unfold before our eyes right here in our own backyard.
Dr. James R. Ramsey, University of Louisville President said, “This is a great opportunity for University of Louisville students to learn and collaborate with wonderful partners. It’s inspiring to see this kind of community engagement and partnership surrounding the arts.”
The presentation of “Sleep Rock Thy Brain” is also responsible for bringing several related events to the community including an exhibit at Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School. The exhibit features winning artwork by U of L students, inspired by Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.” The exhibit will be open until April 14 during play performances.
U of L theater students will put on a series of three 10-minute plays that deal with sleep and dreaming. The shows start at 8 p.m. from March 29-30 at Studio Theatre (corner of Floyd and Warnock streets on U of L’s Belknap Campus). The event is free and open to the public.
The collaboration has also launched a website www.sleeprockthybrain.com – Actors Theatre invites the community to join in and share their own sleep and dream related experiences.
Photo courtesy of Actors Theatre