Overview

Sleep Deprivation Chamber
By Adam P. Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy 
Now streaming on demand  

“I’m an American citizen, could you please let me up and breathe?” Teddy Alexander gasps out these words to the police officer who has beaten, dragged, and pinned him in the driveway of his family’s Arlington home—all because of a broken taillight. Teddy is a young Black college student studying theatre, but his senior year becomes a waking nightmare when the officer accuses him of assault. Written by Adrienne Kennedy and her own son, Adam, the semi-autobiographical drama shifts between Teddy’s trial and the unrelenting letters his sleepless mother writes in his defense. Although it won the Obie Award for Best New American Play nearly 25 years ago, Sleep Deprivation Chamber is a chilling meditation on race and powerlessness that remains painfully relevant today.

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Sleep Deprivation Chamber runs approximately 90 minutes.
Content Warning: Sleep Deprivation Chamber features adult and racial language and mature themes, including explicit discussion and depiction of physical violence.

Sleep Deprivation Chamber is part of The Work of Adrienne Kennedy: Inspiration & Influence play festival produced in association with McCarter Theatre Center.

Round House Theatre’s 2020-2021 Reimagined Virtual Season is sponsored by Mitch & Heidi Dupler, Linda Ravdin & Don Shapero, and The Zickler Family.
The Work of Adrienne Kennedy: Inspiration and Influence festival is underwritten by The RPM Fund.
Sleep Deprivation Chamber is sponsored by Elaine Kotell Binder & Richard Binder.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL:
Hailed as “American theatre’s greatest and least compromising experimentalist” (New York Times), Adrienne Kennedy is one of the most prolific and widely studied living playwrights. Since bursting onto the scene in 1964 with Funnyhouse of a Negro, Kennedy’s enthralling lyrical dramas have influenced generations of storytellers, from Suzan-Lori Parks to Robert O’Hara, Shonda Rhimes to Jeremy O. Harris. Despite her outsized influence, three Obie Awards, and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame, Adrienne Kennedy is not a household name. This festival is a celebration of why she should be. Round House shines a light on four deeply personal stories from Kennedy’s astonishing body of work with four weeks of virtual theatrical experiences and dynamic conversations, offering audiences the opportunity to discover Kennedy’s singular voice—a startling mix of the surreal with the all too real. 

NOTE: Plays will be released weekly and will be available on demand through February 2021. Patrons may purchase a full festival pass or choose individual plays.

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Behind the Scenes Photos
Actors David Schlumpf and Rex Daugherty with director Raymond O. Caldwell. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Actors David Schlumpf and Rex Daugherty with director Raymond O. Caldwell. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Behind the Scenes Photos
Photo of the production team with actors Deimoni Brewington and Rex Daugherty by Jesse Aasheim.
Photo of the production team with actors Deimoni Brewington and Rex Daugherty by Jesse Aasheim.
Behind the Scenes Photos
Photo of the cast of Sleep Deprivation Chamber with director Raymond O. Caldwell. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Photo of the cast of Sleep Deprivation Chamber with director Raymond O. Caldwell. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Behind the Scenes Photos
Photo of the cast of Sleep Deprivation Chamber with director Raymond O. Caldwell. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Photo of the cast of Sleep Deprivation Chamber with director Raymond O. Caldwell. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Behind the Scenes Photos
Photo of actors David Schlumpf and Jjana Valentiner with the production team. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Photo of actors David Schlumpf and Jjana Valentiner with the production team. Photo by Jesse Aasheim.
Behind the Scenes Photos
Photo of the cast of Sleep Deprivation Chamber by Jesse Aasheim.
Photo of the cast of Sleep Deprivation Chamber by Jesse Aasheim.
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