The Yale Repertory Theatre has taken a while to get around to announcing any of the “No Boundaries Performance Series” events for its 2017-18 season. There haven’t been any events on the 2017 end of the season, but the first “No Boundaries” event for next year has just been announced.
“Sleep” is an 80-minute production by the New York-based experimental theater company Ripe Time. Based on a story by Haruki Murakami, it concerns a woman who suffers from sleep deprivation after experiencing a horrific dream. The show explores the special state of being she finds herself in. “Sleep” was adapted by Naomi Iizuka and devised and directed by Rachel Dickstein and Ripe Time.
“Sleep” premiered in late October as part of the Annenberg Center Live series in Philadelphia, then was in New York a month later for the BAM Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn.
If you’d like to locate Murakami’s original “Sleep” for some bedtime reading before seeing Ripe Time’s adaptation, the story is in his collection “The Elephant Vanishes” and was also published in the March 30, 1992, issue of The New Yorker.
“Sleep” will be performed March 1 to 3 at Yale’s Iseman Theater. Details at yalerep.org.
Long Wharf Staffs ‘Office’
Here’s the cast of “Office Hour,” the newish Julia Cho play at the Long Wharf Theatre Jan. 17 through Feb. 11.
Jackie Chung (last seen at the Long Wharf in “Macbeth 1969”) plays Gina, the writing teacher who tries to help a withdrawn (and potentially dangerous?) student named Dennis, played by Daniel Chung. Jeremy Kahn as David and Kerry Warren as Genevieve complete the cast.
“Office Hour” is a co-production with California’s Berkeley Repertory Theatre, which will have it in February/March. A different production of the same script was at the Public Theater in New York this month. The play premiered in April 2016 at another California theater, South Coast Rep.
“Office Hour” is directed by Lisa Peterson, whose long list of Connecticut directing credits includes José Rivera’s “Sueño” at Hartford Stage, Donald Margulies’ “Two Days” at the Long Wharf, Tony Kushner’s “Slavs!” at Yale Rep and a slew of readings at the O’Neill Theater Center. Peterson became the associate director of Berkeley Rep last year. Details of “Office Hour” at Long Wharf are at 203-787-4282, longwharf.org.
Hartbeat Gets Hungry
Hartbeat Ensemble will present the Sinking Ship company’s acclaimed new one-man stage version of the Franz Kafka story “A Hunger Artist” at its Carriage House Theater on Farmington Ave. Feb. 1 to 4. The multimedia drama is performed by Jonathan Levin, who created it with writer Josh Luxenberg and director Joshua WIlliam Gelb.
Sinking Ship combines theater, puppetry, music and movement for shows that have explored the works of composer Raymond Scott (“Powerhouse”), science fiction writers including Ray Bradbury and Stanislaw Lem (“There Will Come Soft Rains”) and now Kafka.
These will be the first New England performances of the “A Hunger Artist,” which has had successful runs at the Connelly Theater in New York City (where it will return for more performances in January), earlier this month at the Baltimore Theatre Project in Maryland, and in August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, where it won the Lustrum Award for Excellence.
The booking is a real coup for Hartbeat. It was arranged by Steve Raider-Ginsburg, a co-founder of the theater who’s currently a member of Hartbeat’s interim artistic director transition team. Raider-Ginsburg is also the director of the Autorino Center at the University of Saint Joseph.
Pre-Show Announcement Of The Week
In the unlikely event of a fire, or in the unlikely event of our fog machine setting off our smoke alarms, which has never ever happened…
—Colleen Welsh, hosting “Mama D’s Christmas Stocking: Where’s Santa?” at Playhouse on Park.
Davina Porter, Hall Of Famer
Davina Porter, a Westport actress who has acted and directed for decades at the Westport Community Theatre and has also has appeared regularly at Stratford’s Square One Theatre, is one of the inaugural inductees into the new national Narrator Hall of Fame. The hall of fame was just created by the audiobook powerhouse Audible to honor book narrators who’ve created “a wide, varied, and vibrant body of work,” received “exceptional listener reviews” and demonstrated “a commitment to the craft and dedication to spreading awareness of audio performance.”
Porter’s has narrated 178 books found on the Audible website, among them Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series, Alexander McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie mysteries and classics such as “Tess of the d’Urbervilles,” “Anna Karenina” and “The Mists of Avalon.”
Also among the 20 voices inducted into the Narrator Hall of Fame this year: George Guidall, who just played Reb Saunders in “The Chosen” at Long Wharf; Jim Dale, the great British actor who’s done two shows at Long Wharf; and the late Edward Herrmann, who lived in Salisbury and starred in Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” at Yale Rep in 2010.
How I Intend To Spend My Christmas Vacation
• Binge-watching (again) the backstage — and onstage — comedies “Toast of London” (“Who?!”) on Netflix; “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (love Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce) on Amazon Prime; and “There’s Johnny” (with real ‘70s footage of George Carlin and many others) on Hulu.
• Finishing J.A. Hennrikus’ “A Christmas Peril.” It’s the first in a new “Theater Cop” mystery series published by Midnight Ink Books out of Minnesota, starring a former police officer who now runs her own small theater company in the fictional town of Trevorton, Mass. The Cliffside Theater Company is staging “A Christmas Carol.” The book opens with more than one person wishing they could kill the actor playing Scrooge.
• Going into a Sam Shepard frenzy. I’m in the middle of John J. Winters’ new Shepard biography, which was published just before the playwright/actor/hipster icon died this year. Shepard was working on his own new book while on his deathbed. “Spy of the First Person” was released Dec. 5. With its short, choppy, shouty paragraphs and visceral imagery, it’s a fitting final burst of verbiage from this amazing writer, mixing the best of his prose, poetic and playwriting voices. I’m going to find some cold woodland area and read it there.
• Sorting a few thousand theater programs.
See you in 2018!