Digital U.S. Premiere

Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists

Launches January 10 at 12pm ET | Available to stream January 10-16

Inspired by the award-winning book of the same name by poet a.rawlings, Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists pairs sleep and dream studies with lepidoptery, the study of butterflies and moths. Tracking the stages of sleep and pairing them with the life cycle of butterflies and moths, insomnia is mirrored in the birth of the egg and narcolepsy in larval hatching. And when the caterpillar starts its final moult, dreams begin, weaving around us as tightly as a cocoon until we are somnambulant, a chrysalis ready to emerge as a moth.

It’s a story, it’s not a story.
It has elements of story.

Pattern your breath on the sound of moth wings, magnified and frenzied, as you fight for sleep in a suffocating tangle of sheets. This is a poetic fantasia, an erotic nightmare-scape. So we dream the same – do we dream the same? Even when the body falls asleep, the brain’s hearing pathways do not shut down. Even in the hours of deepest slumber, sound can be imprinted on your memory.

Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists is produced by VaVaVoom Theatre and Bedroom Community and was premiered in May 2014, at the 28th edition of Reykjavik Arts Festival.

A team of scientists including Harvard University lepidopterists and University College London sleep research scientists worked closely with us on the creation of Wide Slumber. We have curated a series of events that can be presented in tandem with the performance including a butterfly pinning workshop, lectures on the metamorphosis of butterflies and sleep science, and installations. 

Valgeir Sigurðsson

a rawlings