REVIEW: “Sleeping Giant” at Know Theatre

The 75-minute show packs a mean punch

By Katrina “Kat” Reynolds

Know Theatre opens its 26th season with a bang (#IYKYK) as Sleeping Giant by Steve Yockey hits their MainStage. Described as “a marriage proposal gone awry awakens an ancient evil deep within a lake and triggers a rising tide of unsettling events”, this dark comedy is a thinker.

A person proposing to a person

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Brianna Miller and Jared Earland in Sleeping Giant. Photo by Dan R. Winters Photograhy.

The Production Team for Sleeping Giant

Serving as both the show’s Director and Lighting Designer, Andrew J. Hungerford gives the audience his usual best foot forward. Mr. Hungerford never fails to properly convey the mood of each scene with his lighting choices. Partnered with projections by Designer Douglas J. Borntrager, the aesthetics of this piece are a show within themselves. Without giving away any spoilers, this reviewer urges you to pay attention to the change in the projections for each home. The wallpaper tells a story of its own. Rounded out with contributions from Scenic & Props Designer Danielle Robinson and Costume Designer Noelle Wedig-Johnston, the aesthetics of the show are seamless and allow for necessary quick scene changes.

The Cast

This cast of four artists plays a myriad of roles in the telling of Mr. Yockey’s dark tale. Without a doubt, this reviewer felt the strongest characterizations came from Jared Earland, simply credited as The Raconteur. Mr. Earland has been making quite a name for himself in recent years and it is well-deserved. His on-stage manner is easy and believable and his choices are strong and clear. Each of his characters have a very distinct cadence and affectation which might be no easy task for another actor. 

Matching wits throughout is veteran performer Tess Talbot billed as The Convert. Ms. Talbot’s commitment to her craft is always spectacular and this is no exception. She has somehow mastered the fine art of portraying an almost unbelievable character in a believable way. Even throughout some of her most outlandish dialogue, there is a level of relatability.

A person and person hugging

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Tess Talbot and Jared Earland in Sleeping Giant. Photo by Dan R. Winters Photography.

In Summary

Mr. Yockey is no doubt a creative artist. The Emmy-nominated playwright first premiered Sleeping Giant at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As the show initially had to be under 60 mins, he reveals he was very careful about what things he wished to “add back” to the script when it was going to be put on other stages. Still and all, the 75-minute show packs a mean punch and manages to get its point(s) across in that time.

Get Tickets to Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant runs now through August 20th. The Know Theatre of Cincinnati, your “theatrical playground,” offers several pricing levels to support your local artists including discounted tickets on Wednesdays through The Welcome Experiment. To purchase tickets, visit here.

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