Wakeful Sleeper

Written by:

Jennifer Fraser

Cast Size:

Roles For:

  • Men: 5
  • Women: 5






110 min.


Wakeful Sleeper takes its title from the Anglo-Saxon poem “Beowulf.” The ancient idea of a hero, one who could triumph over monstrosities, was to be a “wakeful sleeper.” A teenaged girl is accused by her father of being gay. She’s a sleepwalker. Her father is a committed Christian and struggles, agonizes over the right thing to do. Ultimately, despite the tearing apart of an otherwise loving family of mother, father and three children, he decides his daughter must choose between her homosexual leanings and her place in the family. The play takes a gut-wrenching twist when it’s exposed that it is not the daughter who is gay. It’s the mother. This modern family goes through a crucible of spirituality, loyalty, family and conformity as it unpacks one of our society’s most fraught issues. (From the CPO Website)


Carol Hawksworth — 17, wants to go to the National Theatre School
Grant Hawksworth — 19, studying philosophy
Dirk Hawksworth — 21, studying astrophysics
Eleanor Hawksworth — late 40s, mother of Carol, Grant, Dirk, costume designer
John Hawksworth — late 40s, father of Carol, Grant, Dirk, pharmacist
Mai Dang — 30, yoga instructor
Reverend Kyle Matthews — mid-40s, school chaplain
Amanda Rooke — mid-40s, drama teacher
Nathan — 17, student, interested in acting
Kim — 17, student resistant to deeper meaning
Patrick / Patricia Hardy — mid-40s, English teacher, transgender
Woman who appears to Carol when she’s sleepwalking
The yoga instructor, acting teacher, English teacher and woman in dream can all be played by the same actor.


Wakeful Sleeper is available through the CPO Website.

To view other works by this playwright, click here.


Parts I and II of Jennifer Fraser’s Pain Trilogy are Distortion (on PLEDGE here) and Aristotle’s Poetics (on PLEDGE here).