EMP SAVES: Maura Krause on NIGHT SWEATS

This morning, a friend asked me what I was currently working on. I explained that it’s called NIGHT SWEATS and is several different pieces interwoven, all dealing with the topic of irrational fears. My friend laughed and said, “Maybe I’ll skip that one – I have enough irrational fears!” She then told me about the zombie nightmare she had last night, and the paranoia on her way to work at 6 am that the homeless guy shuffling along was actually a zombie. Bonding moment – I definitely share zombie fears, and have in fact woken up at 4 am and checked all news sources for the possibility that the apocalypse began while I was sleeping.

And this is all the more reason to come see EMP’s next show because it’s going to be a colossal, psychedelic bonding experience for all. We had a great production meeting and first read last week; just looking at the costume sketches for shimmery intestines and blood-soaked beaks sent tremblings of gory delight through the room. Our set designer has come up with colorful, perfect worlds that begin to twist and deform before you even realize it, and our actors may just never be the same again. All this organized, professional work has gone into creating something almost as hard to grasp onto as a dream – in dreams, morals stop making sense and the power dynamic can be reversed before you realize you’re suddenly in your underwear.

The best part is that these messed up, squirmy dreams are actually useful. There’s this Finnish scientist with a theory that because the amygdala fires more during REM cycles of sleep than it does normally, dreams actually evolved for us to practice dealing with threatening situations. There’s the claim that dreams are psychotherapy, mirroring our innermost desires and helping us grow emotionally (or not, thanks Freud!) Then there’s the possibility that dreams help us get rid of all the unnecessary junk we accumulate in our brains day after day. In other words, if NIGHT SWEATS = dream, and dream = all of the above, seeing NIGHT SWEATS will help you be a better, clearer person who would be more likely to survive the threat of a zombie apocalypse.

So come to us with your killer seven foot ferret dreams, and your secret fear that one day you might paper-cut your hand off. We’re ready for you: to charm you, to scare you, to help you – remember, EMP loves you.

–Maura Krause, Dramaturg