SLEEPWALKERS: theatrically speaking, literature

(Charles Kruger)

Have you heard of Sleepwalkers Theatre Company? If you haven’t, I think you will. This little engine that could of a company has produced 16 original plays in less than three years, to critical acclaim. That is a mind-boggling accomplishment.

Too often, dramatic literature is not seen as a part of the literary landscape. Most often, theatre is a matter of reviving known pieces, not creating new work. And where new work is created, it is often expensive to produce, relatively inaccessible, and the playwrights often get short shrift as compared to the rest of the collaborators.

But by producing very small, inexpensively mounted pieces, focusing exclusively on new work, emphasizing language, and taking on challenging themes, artistic director Tore Ingersoll-Thorp is giving us something authentically new and bridging the gap between the literary and theatrical worlds.

Even a cursory examination of their web site will confirm that this is a company with vision and standards. The web site is visually exciting and packed with information. They even have a gizmo so that you can write your own short play and publish it on the site. This is awesomeness squared.

Given all of the above, I was pleased to receive an invitation to attend a preview party for Sleepwalkers’ upcoming production of Nature Line by J. C. Lee. This took place at Cafe Royale, well known to the literary community as the venue for Inside Story Time and the San Francisco Writers’ Community, among other events. And our friends Fox & Woman, a band with close ties to the 16th and Mission poetry scene would be performing along with Duncan Wold.

The Cafe was crowded with enthusiastic supporters, the music was joyful and the previews were engaging.

If your literary tastes and endeavors tend toward the theatrical, Sleepwalkers Theatre Company should be on your radar. Really.

Here’s some video:

Nature Line 1

Nature Line 2

Duncan Wold & Friends

Fox & Woman