Sleep Over

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The Sleep Over was the name of the form performed by Mother as part of their weekend show Wanna Sleep Over? at the UCBT from September 2001 through 2003.

History

Inspired by the Swarm's launching of Slow Waltz Around Rage Mountain, Mother started rehearsing twice a week to develop a show outside of Harold Night. Once a week they'd rehearse Harold with Andrew Secunda and then they'd rehearse what eventually became The Sleep Over with Armando Diaz. After arriving at the form, they work-shopped it for a month at Freaks Local in August 2001. Mother: Wanna Sleep Over? debuted at the UCB Theatre on W. 22nd St. on Sept. 4th, 2001.

Mother originally developed the form in order to be more grounded. "We had a tendency to do what was later dubbed the Mother Big Bang -- we'd explode one idea to exhaustion. When it went well, we ended up with a fantastic Harold. When it didn't, we ran out of steam mid-way through," said James Eason.

Structure

Sleep Over is, at its essence, a mono-character form. It has elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde in it.

First, you get a suggestion of words of advice. That inspires some sort of inner truth or want that you repeat, mantra-like, until everyone is onstage repeating their inner "thing". Each actor choose and then repeats their mantras. One by one, each actor retreats to the back wall until only two are left. Those two repeat their inner "thing" one last time before engaging in scenework.

The scene is edited by the entire back line stepping forward in a pose and repeating their original mantras. One of the two characters then selects one of these "statues" who then initiates the scene. (Very important. This way the statue can't pre-plan an initiation).

This scene, and all subsequent scenes, are edited in the same way. The person selecting the statue can be anyone who's already been "activated" for a scene.

Once everyone has been introduced, characters mix and match with each other.

The trick is to NOT play plot, but instead play character and character want. That creates the illusion of plot.

Performance Class

In 2004, Mother's James Eason and Tara Copeland taught the Sleep Over as a performance class at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. The show was called Pajama Party and ran for four Tuesdays in July. The cast consisted of Kate Billingsley, Gary Cohen, Robert Connor, Kevin Cragg, Dave Thunder, Dominic Dierkes, Alana Harrison, Jen MacNeil, Stacy Mayer, Dan McInerney, Gil Ozeri, Stephen Ruddy, Jeff Scherer, Keong Sim, David Warth and Erica Younkin.

Several of the cast members revived the show for a run at Juvie Hall in May 2005.

It has since been taught continuously at The Magnet Theatre under the name Choose Your Own Adventure.