sleeper is a performance that ponders the imperative of a lived existence. Why wake up? What, or who, do we rise for? It is a ceremony and a circus, a heartfelt appeal to the burnout generation to fall wholeheartedly and headfirst into sleep.
Created by Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood
Choreographed by Raquel Chavez
In this BRIClab residency, Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood and Raquel Chavez will share an excerpt of their new piece, sleeper.
Our play follows Sleeper, a millennial archetype of an every-person, who from a self-imposed, bedridden exile ponders the imperative of a lived existence. Why wake up? What, or who, do we rise for? Throughout what should be a nap, sleeper debates a shape-shifting cast of characters, both familiar and foreign, as they grapple with trauma, loneliness, identity and self doubt. Will our Sleeper ever escape (or accept) their somnolence? Can they draw back the curtains and let in the light? Ultimately, the key to Sleeper’s liberation hinges on a phone call from their mother and a return to their indigenous roots, where dreams have the power to unlock the relationship between parent and child, descendant and ancestor, body and earth.
From the moment of birth until our last waking breath — and beyond — humanity’s relationship to sleep is eternal. It is a phenomenon full of complex contradictions; familiar and mysterious, active and passive, protracted and ephemeral. There are those who want to “hack” sleep and those who claim to need none at all. Those who embrace, or allow themselves to be embraced by sleep are perceived as indulgent. Others approach their nightly recharge with apathy; some feel outright disdain. And through it all sleep carries on, misunderstood and maligned, the unlimited resource we always want more of, but wish we needed less. sleeper is a play that seeks to engage our entrenched personal, political and historical beliefs around rest. Unfolding from a desire to quiet this discursive static, the play instead amplifies this noise and wraps itself inside it, like a warm blanket.
About the artists
Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood (Writer/Creator) uses she/they/he pronouns, and encourages you to mix it up! Mo is a theatre maker, playwright and educator living in Brooklyn, Lenapehoking, with ancestral roots on the Red River by way of Chikashsha Iyaakni’. Mo’s theatre embraces a lesbian aesthetic, one that centers women, femmes, and gender freaks from process to performance, building community trust through movement-based ensemble work. Their writing has been produced in London and New York City, at the Oklahoma Contemporary Museum and the University of Denver, where they served as artist in residence. Mo has trained with SITI company, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, and received their masters in Text and Performance from RADA and The University of London. They hold a bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Columbia University. morgainegooding.com or @gaineyboo
Raquel Chavez (Movement Director) is a chicane actor, director, producer & choreographer from the Bay Area. Her work has been featured in the Corkscrew Festival, the HOT! Festival at Dixon Place, and the 2020 Grad Acting Freeplay Festival. She has worked with the Belle & Sebastian, Smith Street Stage, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Neo-Political Cowgirls and the Brewing Department, as an actor, dancer, and creator. She believes in the liberatory and transformative power of surrealist theater-making, garnished by aspirational refractions of Pina Bausch and Bob Fosse. She has trained in Feldenkrais, Simonson technique, clown, Lucid Body, and the joint stock method. She holds an MFA from NYU Tisch Grad Acting and a BA in Race & Ethnicity Studies from Columbia. raquelmariechavez.com
Raquel Chavez, Aika.
Morgaine (Mo) Gooding-Silverwood, Cradle Two Grave.
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BRIClab is a multi-disciplinary residency program created to advance opportunities for visual artists, performers, and media makers. BRIClab offers emerging and mid-career artists essential resources, mentorships, and opportunities to share their work. The residency aims to build a stronger and more diverse artistic community in Brooklyn by supporting long term growth and fostering relationships across disciplines.
The program’s four tracks are Contemporary Art, Film + TV, Performing Arts, and Video Art. Each track offers unique resources designed to meet the needs of varied artistic practices. Residents receive additional financial support, mentorship, skills-based learning opportunities, and documentation of their work.