ORLANDO — An original play now in development by Freeline Productions, “Murder Sleep,” went on sale today through the site’s Online Bookstore.
“Murder Sleep” is an original drama by Freeline Productions founder Michael W. Freeman, set in an aging hotel in Fort Lauderdale. The book is now available on Amazon.com, and is in the early stages of being produced on stage in the Orlando area.
The play deals with an initial subject that literally hundreds of thousands of people can instantly relate to. It starts, during the slow recovery from a brutal national recession, with a desperately needed break for R.T. — his first new job after three years of unemployment.
His new employer even puts him up in a historic hotel in South Florida for two weeks of training, all expenses paid. It all seems ideal.
But the nondescript R.T. makes one error in judgment: he decides to bring along a young friend, Ryan, who uses the two weeks to get high on Ecstasy and spend his days looking for alluring women at the pleasure palace’s pool.
And it gets worse.
Not surprisingly, Ryan doesn’t sleep at night, and he makes it nearly impossible for R.T. to, either, putting his new job at risk. The situation gets even more bizarre when Ryan meets the drop-dead gorgeous Francesca at the hotel’s bar and invites her back to the room while the increasingly neurotic R.T. is at work.
Francesca definitely makes a strong impression on Ryan – perhaps too strong, since her motives appear to go well beyond orgies in bed. Francesca is obsessed with a rich, older gentleman staying at the hotel who had mistreated her – and she seems intent on motivating Ryan’s Alpha Male side to help her enact revenge.
The more Francesca talks, the more she appears to envision a hideously blood revenge. Is Ryan likely to succumb to her naked hostility? And yet …
… is any of this really happening? Do the characters have an impaired sense of reality, or a collapsing depth perception? What exactly is going on in the room within that historic hotel in Fort Lauderdale, where a wet spot mysteriously reappears on the desk, and where shadowy figures move through the room in the pitch darkness of night? And by the end, is the audience exposed as more than simply voyeurs to the macabre happenings?
Welcome to “Murder Sleep” … a play likely to stab brutally at you in your dreams long after you’ve seen it.
“Murder Sleep” will be the first theatrical production for Naked Rage Theatre, which was formed by Freeman in 2013 as an offshoot of Freeline Productions, his writing and editing company that had already successfully produced two original plays — “Hooked” in 2009 and “Copping a Craigie” in 2010 — at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival.
Naked Rage Theatre is intended to be a celebration of several things — including plays that are original and being produced for the first time, that have no use for political correctness (left or right), and that do not aim to be politely (and blandly) commercial, inoffensive or pleasantly and safely mainstream.
Instead, Naked Rage Theatre will explore works that delve away from the comfortable, familiar — and mundane.
Naked Rage Theatre is looking for like-minded artists — writers, directors and actors — who want to collaborate on future productions. It is committed to original plays … with an edge.
Imagine you’re sitting in a theater, enjoying a well-produced live stage performance of a traditional, classic show. There’s music, some comedy, and the story is sentimental, warm and fuzzy. You lie back in your chair, get very comfortable. It’s all so pleasant, so sweet to watch.
If it’s been a long week, and maybe a hectic one, you could be forgiven if your eyelids get a bit heavy, and perhaps you even start to nod off, to drift for a few minutes ….
What if someone walked up to you, just as you were dozing in that theater, and roughly slapped you across the face? It would no doubt startle you, shock you, maybe even leave you feeling angry and appalled – the exact opposite of that good-natured show.
Welcome to Naked Rage Theatre.
Our goal is not to make you get that most agreeable feeling, of seeing something that is enjoyable — and instantly forgettable.
We want you to feel that slap across the cheek – to knock you out of your complacency.
Using original pieces, Naked Rage Theatre is not designed to taste like the sugar-filled candy that melts in your mouth.
We will challenge you, upset your sensibilities, toss mud on your preconceived notions. What we offer is chaotic and filled with destructive energy. At times, everything on stage will seem irrational. We do not offer peace, tranquility and beauty. We’re all about upsetting life’s apple cart. We’re all in favor of assaulting your unconscious habits of enjoying “innocent” theater.
At least you’ll truly know you’re at Naked Rage Theatre.
Contact Freeline Media at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..