| Stage |

A Reading of The Sleeping Girl at Stark Naked Theatre, Complete With Mermaid

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In The Sleeping Girl by Suzanne Bradbeer, Susan Draper plays Rita Faye Pruitte who's relocated from Florida to New York City under mysterious circumstances.

"Her story is she is longing for something to happen that she's worked to happen for a long time. She was a mermaid long ago," Draper says.

The work will be staged as a reading by Stark Naked Theatre Company in a one-night only event on June 16 at Spring Street Studios (and sponsored in part by the Houston Press.)

Matt Hune plays Polk, the wide-eyed younger brother of her former fiancé Jackson, who are also on their way to New York along with Jackson's new fiancé. Josh Morrison (a director and actor at Stages) plays Jackson, "the Southern old ex-football star who always had things handed to him. He's already left the altar a couple of times."

Director Dianne K. Webb says this play blending elements of comedy and drama, reality and the surreal is a good one for audience members looking to explore new works - as well as for actors who have a chance to create new characters.

Kim Tobin-Lehl, co-founder of Stark Naked and who'll play the friend who helps Rita Faye construct a sparkly party dress, says the regional premiere will run about 90 minutes straight through and shows that "people rally together to save each other and do fantastical things to rise above their pain."

7:30 p.m. Monday. Spring Street Studios, Studio 101, 1824 Spring Street. For information visit starknakedtheatre.com. $10.

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