top of page

Sleep Paralysis: A Waking Nightmare, 2018

MFA Performance Costume

First-year project

A costume exploration of the nightmarish phenomenon that is sleep paralysis.

In an immersive theatre experience, a very select audience will be invited to a house, transporting them back to 1975. 

Still very little is known about this worldwide sleep disorder. Sleep Paralysis: A Waking Nightmare is designed to not only frighten willing audience members but to educate them on the effects of suffering from sleep paralysis. Each experience of sleep paralysis differs immensely, and here we take a glimpse at four separate cases.

The costume designs explored the effects of sleep paralysis. The striped nightdress is cast in resin while the wig is laced onto a wireframe. The costume is 'frozen in time', portraying a typical symptom of sleep paralysis; where sufferers feel paralysed in their bed, unable to move their body.

Many sufferers see a shadow type figure in the walls. The Shadow Man is made from custom-designed wallpaper prints. Each print is pieced together, with some prints 'peeling' like old wallpaper.