Onstage: Review: A Sleeping Country

Waking Up and examining how we know ourselves

Sandy Underwood

Julia (Dana Slamp, right) hopes that Isabella (Kate Levy) can help her understand why she can't sleep in "A Sleeping Country."

How often have you gone to the theater and dozed off when the lights go down? That's not an affliction you're likely to suffer if you go to see A Sleeping Country by Melanie Marnich, winner of the 2008 Mickey Kaplan Play Prize at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

A thoughtful comedy about insomnia, her new play is getting its world premiere through April 20 in the Shelterhouse Theatre.

Marnich, a rising playwright, actually lived in the Cincinnati area for six years in the 1990s and began her theatrical writing career here. She admits to having been afflicted with insomnia, a circumstance that inspired her to write this play, although she's quick to say that the central character's story isn't her own.

Julia Fricassi (a sympathetic and frustrated Dana Slamp) is convinced she has the Worst Insomnia in the World, and her psychiatrist Dr. Midge (Susan Louise O

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