People are Talking “A charming evening, a damned funny show. Fans of neurotic Woody Allen comedies will feel at home with this story of Julia and her insomnia. Like that second shot of limoncello, you know you really shouldn’t, but it’s so light, sweet and refreshing … and heck, it’s summer.” Andrew Alexander,www.ArtsCriticATL.com
“As an insomniac, I heartily endorse this performance. Really nice work.”Bart Hansard
“We enjoyed A Sleeping Country at Essential Theatre and are looking forward to the next two shows in the festival this year.” Betty Mitchell
"It was a hoot. Thanks for the invite." Dr. Michael Rinow, Northside Hospital Sleep Disorder Center
Notes by Michael Evenden, Dramaturg The human relationship to nature—that great American drama—is frequently reimagined on our national stage as a struggle of self-determination: a humbling, soul-opening battle of the aspiring, ambitious, autonomous individual against the irresistible claims of forces beyond his or her control--imperfect families, the unalterable past, the unbidden progress of illness, aging, and affliction that undermine the will and mark both body and mind. Yet these are the battles that, by humbling the will, can open the way to revelation. This year’s Essential Theatre Festival’s plays return, comically, absurdly, compassionately, restlessly, to these essential themes. If there were an American Job, his journey to a divine vision (through the loss of control over his life) would bear a resemblance to these plays and their unexpected, imperfect epiphanies.
Insomnia, that quintessential syndrome of Americans in overdrive, propels the heroine of Melanie Marnich’s prize-winning A Sleeping Country into a comic pilgrimage to confront an old-world wisdom now grown caricatured and fabulous. The very inability to dream, a devastating condition, eventually creates its own funhouse-mirror reality and unveils an unexpected, cosmic vision.
To contemplate the special lessons of disappointment, of the failure of grand narratives, of the reassertion of nature against all our best-laid plans--and to find in their wake new, unanticipated truths and tougher, imperfect joys--may be particularly apt for our chastened nation in 2011. The Essential Theatre invites you to listen and feel with these American characters as they abandon their original plans and go exploring.
Cast & Crew
Become an Usher We are seeking two ushers for each performance. Simply follow the link to ourOvationTix calendar and select USHER tickets and you will be taken to a page to sign-up. Choose one or two $0 tickets. Please visit our onlineTheatre Festival Usher Information to determine performance dates and availability. Click HERE to volunteer.
If It's Theatre That Matters,
It's Essential! June 29 ~ July 31, 2011
We’re excited about the line-up for the 2011 Essential Theatre New Play Festival, our Lucky Thirteenth season of World and Regional Premieres from the Essential Theatre – Bringing Atlanta What’s New in Comedy and Drama!
A Sleeping Country by Melanie Marnich, directed by Peter Hardy
Winner of the 2008 Mickey Kaplan Play Prize, it’s a magical romantic comedy about a woman who travels to Italy looking for help with her terrible insomnia. In trying to find a way to fall asleep, she learns how to become truly awake. By one of the award-winning writers of the TV series Big Love (and wife of Lee Blessing).
"A living playwright with a fresh voice…the dialogue is razor sharp, the characters well drawn and unique, and the story vastly entertaining and informative." —Dramaurge.com.
Save Now With a FlexPass Early Discount Your early purchases of a FlexPass helps fund the Essential Theatre Festival and offers greater savings. The sooner your purchase the greater your savings as these packages will cost more as the festival approaches.
When you purchase a three, six or ten ticket FlexPass you can to use those tickets however you wish. You may choose one or more tickets to any three performances for any of the three shows. There are no blackout dates or restrictions. The earlier you purchase, the greater your savings, and you can wait until a few hours before a performance to get yours tickets online. For example, if you buy a ten seat FlexPass, you can see one performance, and select to use your remaining tickets whenever you want for whichever show you want. Simply sign in atOvationTix to redeem your FlexPass. Visit our Storefront now for the greatest savings.
And, of course, cash donations are always welcome! As ticket prices cover a small fraction of our productoin costs we especially appreciate our donors. Essential Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization so your donations are tax deductible. Please help us to support new work by Georgia Playwrights! Make a donation orbecome a sponsor today!