SLEEPLESSNESS

A new solo performance work by Karen Therese exploring the matrilineal line of her family.

Part mystery, part documentary, part forensic investigation, Sleeplessness maps a remarkable Australian story. It explores a fractured matrilineal history that spans time and place, interrogating the experiences of three generations of women from 1920’s Budapest to Western Sydney today. The discovery of official documents leads to an investigation to uncover an unimaginable nightmare that reveals the impact of migration and institutionalisation on women and families.

Sleeplessness speaks of the experiences and implications of war, homelessness, trauma and the Forgotten Australians, including the Royal Commission into Institutional Care interrogating the mechanisms of power whilst asserting women’s agency.

Writer & Co-Devisor Karen Therese
Director & Co-Devisor Anthea Williams
Sound Designer Anna Liebzeit
Video Artist Zanny Begg
Choreographer Martin Del Amo 


Sleeplessness is a part of the multiyear cultural program WOMEN OF PARRAMATTA, a partnership between Parramatta Female Factory Precinct and PYT Fairfield.

WOMEN OF PARRAMATTA is about place. It is an activation of Australia’s first Site of Conscience connecting Forgotten Australians, Stolen Generations, refugee and asylum seeker communities across Western Sydney. This partnership presents a series of performance evenings, cultural and community events, garden parties and major works, transforming a former institution into a women’s gathering place. WOMEN OF PARRAMATTA will be developing leading practices of memory, care, cultural and social healing.

Women of Parramatta is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW and the Australian Council for the Arts.

Image Credit: Katy Green Loughrey