Haruki Murakami’s Sleep (Studio Production)

February 26–28, 2016
PlayCo launches a new collaboration with Ripe Time to adapt Haruki Murakami’s iconic short story for a new physical theater piece.
Meet the Artists

Naomi Iizuka. Naomi's most recent play, 17 Reasons (Why), was produced at Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts and published by Stage and Screen in the anthology Breaking Ground: Adventurous Plays By Adventurous Theatres, edited by Kent Nicholson. Her other plays include 36 Views; Polaroid Stories; Language of Angels; War of the Worlds (written in collaboration with Anne Bogart and SITI Company); Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls; Tattoo Girl; and Skin. Ms. Iizuka's plays have been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco; the Dallas Theatre Center and Undermain Theatre in Dallas; Frontera@Hyde Park in Austin; Printer's Devil and Annex in Seattle; NYSF/Joseph Papp Public Theatre, GeVa Theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Soho Rep, and Tectonic Theatre in New York; San Diego's Sledgehammer Theatre; Northern Light Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta; Alternate Theatre in Montreal; and the Edinburgh Festival. Her plays have been workshopped by San Jose Rep, GeVa Theatre, Bread Loaf, Sundance Theatre Lab, A.S.K. Theatre Projects, the McCarter Theatre, Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre, the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, Midwest PlayLabs, En Garde Arts/P.S. 122, and New York Theatre Workshop.

Language of Angels was published in TheatreForum; War of the Worlds and Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls were published by Smith and Kraus; Tattoo Girl is included in From The Other Side of the Century, published by Sun and Moon; and Skin is included in Out of the Fringe, published by TCG. Polaroid Stories is published by Dramatic Publishing, and Language of Angels, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, Anon(ymous), and Tattoo Girl are published by Playscripts, Inc. 36 Views was published in American Theatre and has since been published by Overlook Press.

Ms. Iizuka is currently working on commissions from the Guthrie Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kennedy Center, the Children's Theatre of Minneapolis, and the Mark Taper Forum. She is a member of New Dramatists and the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, a Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, an NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence grant, a McKnight Fellowship, a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama, the Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference, Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship, and a Jerome Playwriting Fellowship. Ms. Iizuka has taught playwriting at the University of Iowa and the University of Texas, Austin, and currently teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Rachel Dickstein is a deviser, director and choreographer of theatre, opera, and dance-based performance. She founded the Obie-winning theatre company Ripe Time over twenty years ago, to develop and produce ensemble-based adaptations from literature. The company has received commissions from BAM, Center Theatre Group, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA) and presented its most recent work at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Rachel conceives and creates stories using the language of memory and imagination to trace how women-identifying bodies negotiate identity in the face of cultural constrictions. Inspired by the most searing writing of the past and the politics of the future, she creates embodied performance for the 21st century.

Akiko Aizawa joined SITI in 1997 and has appeared in 30 shows including The Bacchae (BAM, Guthrie), A Rite (with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Co.), Falling & Loving (with STREB Extreme Action), Steel Hammer (music by Julia Wolfe), American Document(with Martha Graham Dance Co.), the theater is a blank page (with Ann Hamilton), Trojan Women (Getty Villa), bobrauschenbergamerica (American Repertory Theatre), Radio Macbeth (Public Theater) and Culture of Desire (NYTW), all directed by Anne Bogart; and Hanjo (Japan Society), directed by Leon Ingulsrud. Other credits: Suicide Forest (dir. Aya Ogawa), Sleep (dir. Rachel Dickstein); The Trojan WomenThree SistersDionysusThe BacchaeThe Chronicle of MacbethIvanovWaiting for Romeo andGreetings from the Edge of the Earth (as a member of SCOT 1987-1993, dir. Tadashi Suzuki). Akiko has been teaching Suzuki Method of Actor Training for 25 years. She is originally from Akita, Japan.

Brad Culver is a Los Angeles-based actor and musician.
Selected theater credits include Alan in One Man, Two Guvnors (Berkeley Repertory Theatre & South Coast Repertory), Dionysus in Satyr Atlas (The Getty Villa, Los Angeles), Thirty.Three. by Bill Cain (Ojai Playwright's Conference), The Black Glass (Ballhaus Ost, Berlin), Present Tense (Oberlin Dance Collective, San Francisco) and The Internationalists (Istrian National Theatre, Croatia; Belgrade International Theatre Festival, Serbia). Film and television credits include Extracted (official selection, SXSW Film Festival), Cartoon Network's Regular Show, Dead in the Room (produced by Slamdance Film Festival) and A Lonely Place for Dying (with James Cromwell). Culver is a founding member of LA-based theater collective Poor Dog Group. His band, Royal Auditorium, has a new single forthcoming. Culver received his BFA in theater from the California Institute of the Arts.

Takemi Kitamura (Performer) A native of Osaka, Japan and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Dance-Education from Hunter College, where she received the Choreographic Award from the Dance Program. Her performances credits include Blood Moon by Beth Morrison Projects at Prototype Festival 2020 (choreographer/dancer/puppeteer), The Oldest Boy (puppeteer/dancer) at Lincoln Center Theater, The Indian Queen (dancer), an opera directed by Peter Sellars, Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (puppeteer) by Dan Hurling, Shank's Mare (puppeteer) by Tom Lee and Koryu Nishikawa V, and Falling Out (puppeteer/dancer) by Phantom Limbs Company, SLEEP (dancer/ensemble) by Ripe Time, and Trooper's Brother (dancer) by Nami Yamamoto. @takemikitamura

Paula McGonagle is known for Eternal Embrace (2000), The Stronger (2012) and Dad (2011).

Jiehae Park plays include peerless (Yale Rep, Primary Stages), Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Here We Are Here (Sundance, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Princess Grace WIP @ Baryshnikov Arts Center), The Aves (Alley All-New, McCarter Spotlight Festival), and contributions to Wondrous Strange (Humana/ATL). Development: Soho Rep, the Public, p73, ACT, Playwrights Horizons, CTG, Atlantic, PlayCo, Old Globe, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Ojai, BAPF, and the amazing Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Awards: Steinberg, Blackburn Finalist, Leah Ryan Prize, Princess Grace Award, Weissberger, ANPF Women’s Invitational. Commissions: Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, Geffen, OSF, MTC/Sloan. Residencies: MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman. As a performer, she most recently appeared in Celine Song’s ENDLINGS (NYTW, ART), and Ripe Time/Naomi Iizuka's adaption of Murakami's SLEEP (BAM Next Wave, Yale Rep) . TV writing: Marvel's Runaways, Hello Tomorrow; development with Tomorrow Studios/Apple, Anonymous/Endeavor Content. Former Tow Fellow and Hodder Fellow; current NYTW Usual Suspect, Lincoln Center Theater writer in residence, and New Dramatist. BA, Amherst; MFA, UCSD.

Saori Tsukada is a performance artist whose collaborators includes composer/theatre artist John Moran, choreographer Yoshiko Chuma, Catherine Galasso, video artist Katja Loher, playwright/director Aya Ogawa, theater company Hoi Polloi, Witness Relocation, composer Joe Diebes. Aside from her favorite NY downtown venues, she's toured London, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Düsseldorf, Warsaw, Skopje, Bucharest, Istanbul and more. Tsukada was nominated for Best Actress at Dublin Fringe Festival. She is currently developing a silent film performance work called Club Diamond, with filmmaker/theater artist Nikki Appino.

Mimi Lien (Set Designer) is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is an artistic associate with Pig Iron Theatre Company, and co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. Recent work includes Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum), John (Signature Theatre), Preludes, The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/TFANA) and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. Lien's designs for dance have been presented in the Netherlands, Russia and Taiwan, and her stage designs have been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial. Lien is a recipient of the Joan and Joseph F. Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity at Lincoln Center, Lucille Lortel Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award and Barrymore Award. She is a recipient of an OBIE Award and a 2015 MacArthur fellowship.

Katie Down (Sound Designer) is a composer, sound artist, educator, and music psychotherapist. She performs with The Ukuladies and NewBorn Trio and is a professor at SUNY New Paltz. Katie also curates musical, theatrical and movement offerings at her space in the Hudson Valley, NY.

Ilona Somogyi's (costume design) work for Ripe Time includes The World is Round, Innocents and The Secret of Steep Ravines. Broadway work includes Clybourne Park. Off-Broadway work includes Nice Fish (Saint Ann's), Body of an American, Grey Gardens (Bay Street), Gloria, A Soldier's Tale (Zankel Hall), Satchmo at the Waldorf, Dinner With Friends, My Name is Asher Lev, The Lying Lesson, Regrets, Maple and Vine, A Small Fire, Jerry Springer: The Opera (Carnegie Hall), The Piano Teacher and the original production of Wit. Recent regional work includes Romeo & Juliet, The Crucible, Gem of
the Ocean, Midsummer Night's Dream (Hartford Stage), Disgraced, 4000 Miles, (Long Wharf), Pride and Prejudice (Center Stage), Nice Fish, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Guthrie), Good People (Huntington Theater), King Hedley II, A Delicate Balance, Man is Man (Arena Stage), Three Sisters, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Passion Play (Yale Rep), Tartuffe and Suddenly Last Summer (Westport Country Playhouse). Somogyi trained at and is on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama.

Jiyoun Chang (lighting design) first collaborated with Ripe Time on The World is Round (BAM Fisher, OBIE Award Special Citation in Lighting Design). Credits include Aubergine by Julia Cho (Berkeley Rep), Sojourners by Mfoniso Udofia (The Playwrights Realm), Ugly Lies The Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino (Roundabout Underground), Brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee (Lincoln Center Theatre LCT3) and Goldberg's Variation (BAM Next Wave 2013). Other credits include The Unfortunates, Troilus and Cressida (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Dance and the Railroad (Signature Theatre), T. 1912, Peter and the Wolf (Guggenheim Museum), Light Within (Carnegie Hall) and Our Planet (Japan Society). Chang holds an MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama. jiyounchang.com

hannah wasileski (projection design) is a visual artist and projection designer
from Berlin whose work spans theater, opera, music and installation. Her recent
design work includes A Proust Sonata (Wortham Center, Houston), Angel's Bone (Prototype Festival), The Wreckers (Bard SummerScape Opera), Albany Symphony's American Music Festival (with Sleeping Giant and Theo Bleckmann), architectural projection design for La Celestina (Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Manual Cinema and Opera Erratica), The World is Round (BAM; Obie Award), Livin' La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), La Prose du Transsibérien (Yale Beinecke), ReAnimator Requiem (Abrons Arts Center), the world premiere of Dear Elizabeth (Yale Rep & Berkeley Rep), and The Strange Tales of Liaozhai and My Life in a Nutshell (HERE Arts Center). Her installation and video art has been exhibited in London, Brighton and Glasgow. Wasileski holds an MFA in design from the Yale School of Drama.

In Sleep, the routine life of a Japanese housewife plagued by insomnia opens a window into a haunting and beautiful sleep-deprived world. Ripe Time’s award-winning Artistic Director, Rachel Dickstein, leads a trailblazing creative team including text by Japanese-American playwright Naomi Iizuka, set design by Mimi Lien (Enjoy, The Golden Dragon and The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise), lighting design by Jiyoun Chang (The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise), costumes by Ilona Somogyi, projection design by Hannah Wasilewski and an original score by the NewBorn Trio (Katie Down – The Golden Dragon).

Adapted for the stage by

Naomi Iizuka

Directed and devised by

Rachel Dickstein


Akiko Aizawa Brad Culver Takemi Kitamura Paula McGonagle Jiehae Park Saori Tsukada

Set Design

Mimi Lien

Costume Design

Ilona Somogyi

Lighting Design

Jiyoun Chang

Original Score

Katie Down Miguel Frasconi Jeffree Lependorf

Projections Design

Hannah Wasilewski


Kat Menschik

Co-Presented with

Ripe Time


Japan Society 333 East 47th St. New York, NY