REVIEW: Believe in Know’s “The Sleeping Giant”

This show will tingle your senses, tease your imagination, tickle your funny bone and treat you to an interesting and thoroughly entertaining experience. It is a dark comedy which takes place at various lake homes. 

By Sherri Ogden Wellington

The play Sleeping Giant by Steve Yockey is now running at Know Theatre. This show will tingle your senses, tease your imagination, tickle your funny bone and treat you to an interesting and thoroughly entertaining experience. It is a dark comedy which takes place at various lake homes. 

The Cast

The cast’s names alone heighten one’s curiosity.  There is The Raconteur (Jared Earland), The Naif (Brianna Miller), The Messenger (Ryan-Chavez Richmond) and The Convert (Tess Talbot).  So being highly educated, one may feel disappointed in oneself that she/he/they doesn’t know what a raconteur is.  Just to keep everyone on the same page (because all of us know exactly what raconteur means), one definition of it is “a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way”.  So….Naif? for goodness sake.  Naif?  Relax, a naif is simply someone who is naive.  Got what “messenger” and “convert” are so we are ready to see what is up with these people!

The Plot

Sleeping Giant is broken up into seven (7) different scenes.  Each scene approaches the subject of cultism in a different manner. The basic story is that a man sets off fireworks at a lake house to impress the woman he is going to propose to. An evil sea monster awakes and it is bidding humans to make human sacrifices so that he can eat. 

Earland, the storyteller, is reading a book called The Butterfly King where people dance and then are sacrificed to be eaten by the King (sound familiar?). Miller is the fiance’ of the Raconteur.  She wants to get away from the lake where the number of people who embrace the lake monster is increasing. Richmond, The Messenger, is sharing the news of this monster. He  appears possessed by it but unlike Talbot, The Convert, who throughout the play is under the influence of evil in her own silly and bizarre way, he is attempting to  convert people to join this cult.

The acting carries the audience to the lake house.  Miller’s youth, beauty and enthusiasm wraps the audience into adoring her.  Earland’s youth, beauty and energy brings humor and seriousness to the play.  Richmond is versatile and brings depth into the roles he plays. Talbot is intense, so much so that one is transformed into her mindset. All of their performances are flawless.

Know Theatre presents SLEEPING GIANT - Tess Talbot as The Convert - photo by Dan R Winters.jpg
Know Theatre presents SLEEPING GIANT – Tess Talbot as The Convert – photo by Dan R Winters

Memorable Lines

There are so many memorable quotes/statements  in this play.  “Some people want an excuse to do horrible things”;  Talbot’s explanation of what one can do to cope in these dire times:  1.  Adapt  2.  Be like the dinosaurs 3.  Eat Cake;  4. “Everything would be lovely again if we just go to the lake”. 4.  “Everything symbolizes something”.  Throughout the play it is important to listen carefully because so much is being said. There are metaphors and symbols throughout to keep the audience thinking about what meanings the author wants to convey.

One questions throughout the play what the words, events and statements actually mean.  What do they symbolize?  The concept that the times we are living in are extremely difficult is a harsh reality in a world where totalitarianism is on the rise–not only in our country but many others.  Is the monster’s cult akin to the cult-like response to a former president?   How is one to cope? 

The Production Team

The play itself is so engaging that one can simply focus on the concepts that it brings up but it is important to remember everyone who makes this play what it is.  Andrew Hungerford, Director & Lighting Designer, not only is the enthusiastic host, but makes this production what it is.  Lighting and sound (Sound & Projection Designer, Douglas Borntrager) sets the mood which are extreme at times.

The Scenic & Props Designer, Scenic Artist, Danielle Robison does  an amazing job with only a couch, a coffee table, a chair, and a side table to transform into six different settings.  For each, the couch’s covering is different, furniture moves  slightly and one to two pictures are different.  Simple and effective.. Costumes (Noelie Wedig-Johnston, Costume Designer)  are simple, modern and appropriate with the exception of Talbot’s who deliciously wears her Fascinator (not a hat!) along with similar adornments to make her wonderfully outrageous.  Technical Director, Jim Stark, and Stage Manager, Grace Wohischlegel, together with the rest of the crew make this play what it is…a thought provoking, entertaining sensation.

Get Tickets to Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant is now playing: 

  • August 4 & 5, 7:30 pm
  • August 6, 3:00 pm
  • August 9, 10, 11, & 12 7:30 pm
  • August 13, 3:00 pm
  • August 16, 17, 18, & 19, 7:30 pm
  • August 20, 3:00 pm

Contact Know’s Box Office today for this intriguing play!

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