Saturday, May 22, 2010

Solo performers look for sleep on stage in A Midsummer Night’s Dreamers

The name suggests Shakespeare; the script is closer to a sleep medicine case study. A Midsummer Night’s Dreamers, a series of solo performances about sleep, starts its two week run in Chicago on June 4th.

Each of the four segments delves into the conflicts we face when the lights go out.

Co-founder Tekki Lomnicki came up with the idea for the show after she underwent a sleep study. She started using a CPAP machine when doctors diagnosed her with moderate sleep apnea.

“I still have not work out the most comfortable mask for me,” Lomnicki said. “I am still having a hard time adjusting.”

The treatment is key part of her segment Mr. Sandman. A costume designer is working on a nightmarishly big CPAP prop resembling Darth Vader’s helmet.

Lomnicki says the play is about the deep subconscious reasons she can’t sleep.

Here’s an excerpt from her monologue:

"If I fall asleep now, I'll get five hours of sleep. I'll be okay. No I won't. I'll be tired. I wish I had some Ambien. If I had Ambien all my problems would be over. If I had Ambien I'd only take a half of one and I'd be able to sleep. But Dr. Levy says I have sleep apnea. My body wakes me up so I can breathe."

The three other segments include:

The Window – performer Anne Purkey turns to two devoted shrinks, a troll and a little blue pill to try to sleep.

Dream a Little Dream of Me – Ro Postula tries to find the meaning of her dreams about her lost loved ones

Sleeping Over – Maia Morgan attempts to overcome her fear of the dark

A Midsummer Night’s Dreamers runs June 4-13 at the Prop Thtr on 3502 N. Elston, Chicago. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

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