If the content you are seeing is presented as unstyled HTML your browser is an older version that cannot support cascading style sheets. If you wish to upgrade your browser you may download Mozilla or Internet Explorer for Windows.


Drama in one long act by Daniel Brooks and Guillermo Verdecchia, first performed at The Theatre Centre, 1997, directed by and featuring the authors. (Verdecchia was subsequently replaced in the cast by Randy Hughson.) Also featuring actors Fiona Highet and Lisa Ryderwith, set and costumes by Julie Fox, sound and music by Richard Feren, lighting by Andrea Lundy, stage management by Melissa Berney, and produced by Brooks and David Duclos. Insomnia was a production of da da kamera, The Theatre Centre and Augusta Company. The work was subsequently revived by the authors and toured to the Festival de Théâtre des Amériques (now Festival TransAmériques) in 1999. It was also nominated for several Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and the Chalmers Award.

Insomnia is a haunting and troubling work that clearly profited from its extensive workshop process (over a year). The final work is extremely clean-lined and lucid, even as it descends into the nightmare world of a right-thinking man who is questioning his life. Through a lens of hazy reality, the man dissects his withering marriage, his friendships and the society of greed surrounding him. Reality and a state of insomniac illusion are mingled. The core of the work is a very long monologue where the central figure sets forward a series of protocols to live by (i.e., "No cars." "Doubt." "No wife jokes."). It concludes with a harrowing sequence inspired by Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. Not a fun night of theatre, but a bracing one.

Writing for The Toronto Star, Vit Wagner said, "Think of Insomnia as an impressively theatrical nightcap with which to neurotically toast the millennium." Mira Friedlander of Variety said of the work, "...while there is a nod at redemption and a resolution of sorts, it is demonic darkness, rather than liberating light, that defines this disturbing new play." Sonia Safarti, for La Presse, joining the chorus of raves for the design of the original and Festival des Amériques productions said, "[The design elements] make Insomnia a true success."

Commentary by Gaetan Charlebois

Last updated 2013-11-08