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UofL-Actors Theatre partnership explores mystery of sleep

by UofL Today last modified Mar 18, 2013 11:47 AM

What happens when writers bring together astronauts, actors, acrobatics, a hotel and the science of sleep? A groundbreaking series of one-act plays and a variety of sleep-related activities.

UofL-Actors Theatre  partnership explores mystery of sleep

Students worked with ZFX Flying Effects to learn how to fly on stage.

UofL has worked for several months with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Jefferson County Public Schools and the Louisville-based international stage flight company ZFX Flying Effects on a project that includes theater, talks and other activities that take a multidisciplinary look at the science of sleep.

The project revolves around “Sleep Rock Thy Brain,” a new play by playwrights Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn that explores the science of the sleeping brain through various settings and perspectives. The writers used research from the School of Medicine’s Sleep Center, but the partnership includes far more UofL participants than medical scientists.

On March 22, Actors Theatre will open “Sleep Rock Thy Brain” as part of its 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays.

UofL students will perform the play in April. Here is a breakdown of university activities that explore the mystery of sleep:

  • Exhibit at Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School featuring winning artwork by UofL students inspired by Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.” The exhibit will be open March 22–April 14 during play performances.
  • Three 10-minute plays on sleep and dreaming created by UofL theater students and others deemed winners of a national playwriting contest judged by Actors Theatre professionals, 8 p.m. March 29–30 at Studio Theatre, corner of Floyd and Warnock streets. Admission is free and open to the public. For tickets or more information, call 502-852-6814.
  • Student production of “Sleep Rock Thy Brain” at 8 p.m. April 10–14, plus a 3 p.m. matinee April 14, Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School, 930 E. Main St. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for faculty, staff, students and seniors. Tickets are available by calling the UofL Box Office at 502-852-6814 or at the door.
  • UofL and Actors Theatre invite the public to share stories about sleep and dreaming.

Actors Theatre artistic staff members Amy Attaway and Sarah Lunnie conceived of the “Sleep Rock Thy Brain” project. More information is on the project’s website.

People who are interested in supporting the sleep project partnership can give; the Kentucky Arts Council will provide matching funds.

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