The big sleep! Performance features a 30-person mattress

Give it a rest: Director Alec Duffy, bottom right, and the cast of “Quiet, Comfort” stretch out on the mattresses that cover the entire stage.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

They’ve made their bed — now you can lie in it!

A Clinton Hill theater is inviting audiences to stretch out onto the 30-foot wide mattress that takes up the entire stage of its latest production, “Quiet, Comfort,” opening Aug. 11 at Jack. Bringing the audience onto the sleeping surface is a way to break down barriers and change their expectations, says the show’s director.

“I’m hoping that being on a bed will allow the audience to open up to something that doesn’t quite feel like a ‘play’ but more like an experience — something unexpected,” said Alec Duffy. “We want to give the audience the freedom to enjoy the text in any number of ways — lying down with eyes closed, sitting up watching it.”

“Quiet, Comfort,” by Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada, follows a writer and world-traveller who finds himself continually returning to the giant bed in his hotel room — which in this case can fit about 30 people.

The character moves through the world with a great deal of privilege and ease, and much of the 45-minute show consists of choreographed movement that represents the effortless way he travels around the world, said Duffy. The combination of dance, text, and music is aims to send viewers into a sort of dreamland.

“We’re really looking to create an experience that hypnotizes the audience in a way through lighting, sound, the text, and will transport them into a different world,” said Duffy.

But as the lead character bounces among the audience, he shares his struggles and hesitations about traveling so much, when many people never get the opportunity to leave their country or even their birth town. Those people are not present in the text, said Duffy, but they are implicit in the world all around us.

“We’re trying to kind of bounce some of those ideas off the wall that we’re building around the bed,” said the director.

“Quiet, Comfort” at Jack (505 Waverly Ave. between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue in Clinton Hill, www.jackny.org). Aug. 11–13, 17–20, and 23–27 at 8 pm. $18.

Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

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