The Orange Route is a gathering place for information about the development of a site specific improvised opera, O Sleep. Inspired by the drama, science and conundrum of sleep and dream life, this multi-dimensional piece focuses on the synthesis of improvised and composed music, text, movement, video and use of architectural and natural space in performance, challenging to throw the blueprints of a large scale piece to the blenders of improvisation and chance.


Fri & Sat May 21 & 22 8:30pm
Southern Exposure
3030 20th St. San Francisco, CA 94110
We are fundraising for this production and would be very grateful for your support. Please follow this link to make a tax deductible donation:

Theresa will discuss O Sleep at the International Society of Improvised Music 4th Annual Conference, UC Santa Cruz
Sunday December 6, 2009
10am at the Media Center Rm. 110 (Theater Arts Center)
For conference info see:

7:30pm Ensemble Room
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613 
Theresa Wong will give a short solo performance of improvisations/works for voice and cello and present a lecture about ‘O Sleep’.

If the video below is not viewable, go to:

The Exquisite Improvisation of Dream States

O Sleep – an improvised opera and work in progress directed byTheresa WongThe Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin Headlands, Sausalito, CA
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Performaners: TheresaWong, Ellen FullmanKanoko NishiDoheeLeeLuciano Chessa, Michael Carter, Shayna Dunkleman, HeikeLiss and Alice Wu: costumes

Structured along the stages of sleep, O Sleep features a range of dream-state inspired improvisations, movement and creative staging. At times, one could be tempted to close the eyes and drift along with the percussive textures.

O Sleep has its visual highlights as well. The projected video of a curtain by an open window onto a sheer curtain suspended in the middle of the room by a wire was striking. Theresa Wong stood behind this projected image with another performer standing behind her as their vocals twisted within one another’s critical band. One of many moments that left an indelible visual and aural impression.

At one particular sleep stage, the room itself became an instrument as performers worked within the low light, exploring the sounds of frictions along the walls, floor and windows of the old gymnasium at the Marin Headlands. The dance-like kinetic motion of the performers, the vibrations that nearly engulf the observer and the spatial dynamic of this moment captured the essence and mystery of sleep in a uniquely familiar and unsettling manner.

Occupying the core of the stage and sound of O Sleep was the droning and harmonically dynamic sounds of Ellen Fullman’s Long String Instrument. Stretched along the entire length of the gymnasium with wires tuned to just intervals, Fullman walked forward and backward with fists full of strings like a human bow. Coaxing a room-sized, tamboura-esque sound. The addition of percussion, drums, voice, koto and electronics filled out the dreams of this work.

O Sleep incorporates the instruments and performers into a cohesive whole. Musicians move with the grace of dancers. The staging realizes the corporeality of performance and drama as part of a cohesive whole. Improvisation allows the collective ears to focus upon the realization of sleep states. The result is fantastic. As a work “in progress,” O Sleep holds enormous potential.




The question of replenishment
The reimagined space


SUNDAY, MAY 24 2009
(In the Gym) 8:00PM
For directions:
We will be doing an informal performance of the work in its current state, exploring the topic of SLEEP.
Please come join us!

IMG_3272Sunday 4/19/09 (Headlands, Marin)
The 5 hour marathon of music in the gym for the annual Headlands Open House was an intense and successful day. I started off with some solo work, then got to a running start with a duo with Fred Frith, whose presence created a charged and magnetic spirit for the entire ensemble for the remainder of the day. Ellen joined us for a trio, then the opera sketches got off to a start with my cover of “Vedrai, vedrai” in lilac wig and evening gown with a projected video of Luigi Tenco, some mask dancing in the balcony and a lively improvised duo of Fred and Mikey. The rest of the afternoon included improvisations with all 7 musicians (conducted and free), the walking exercise with audience members participating and finally duos of Mikey and Ellen, Shayna and Luciano and a trio of Dohee, Kanoko and me.
(photo by Caroline Kraus)