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Sleep No More

March 9, 2015

SNM

Peter: Amy and I attended Sleep No More this past winter in NYC and it’s an amazing experience. I felt inspired to do this drawing of something we stumbled across (while exploring in our venetian masks) within one of the building’s 100+ shadowy rooms.

I could fill pages explaining what SNM is, but I actually think the Wikipage gives an excellent summery (I’d be paraphrasing it if I didn’t just copy/paste it, so I’ll save the time):

Sleep No More adapts the story of Macbeth, deprived of all spoken dialogue and set primarily in a dimly-lit, 1930s-era establishment called the “McKittrick Hotel”: the website of which claims it has been recently “restored” but is actually a block of warehouses in Manhattan, transformed into a hotel-like performance space

Sleep No More’s environment consists of five floors of theatrical action within the “McKittrick Hotel”, though with many rooms and features not normally associated with hotels, including those which resemble an antiquated lunatic asylum, doctor’s offices, children’s bedrooms, a cemetery, indoor courtyards, shops, a padded cell, a ballroom, taxidermist’s menageries, and so on. The actors and their environment all adopt the dress, decor, and aesthetic style of the early 20th century, inspired by the shadowy and anxious atmosphere of film noir. The production “leads its audience on a merry, macabre chase up and down stairs, and through minimally illuminated, furniture-cluttered rooms and corridors.”[1] Audience members begin their journey in a fully operational bar/lounge, the Manderley Bar, from which they enter an elevator that transports them to the major floors of the “hotel” and sometimes ejects audience members randomly, separating them from their friends.
Audience members are instructed to remain silent and masked at all times[2] once they have boarded the hotel’s elevator up until the time they return to the Manderley Bar; however, they may move freely at their own leisure for up to three hours, choosing where to go and what to see, so that everyone’s journey is unique; they may also exit the premises at any point.[3] Audience members may thus follow one or any of the actors throughout the performance, or they may independently explore the many rooms of the building; in groups or alone. The audience is also encouraged to investigate by opening drawers, examining the numerous written diaries, letters, and other props found throughout the set. Recorded music plays steadily throughout the building at all times.

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