The Dreamer: It’s time to meet the monsters under your bed
The Dreamer: It’s time to meet the monsters under your bed.
On February 18th – 22nd at Whitireia Theatre, 7:30pm nightly. Tickets: students, concessions and Fringe Artists/Addicts are $12 and adults are $18. Tickets can be purchased through Whitireia website or on our Fringe Eventfinda listing.
This play addresses the subjectivity of reality. A Dreamer is thrown through different states of reality, different times, and different places. As she journeys, she meets a number of characters – a teddy bear, some dragons, her mother, a burglar. Though not chronological, her journey is ultimately one to discover whether she can retain the joy and innocence of her childhood while fighting her mental illness.
Director Emma Robinson of the Loose Screw Collective brings us her debut Fringe piece which aims to push our boundaries and dispel our assumptions of mental illness. Emma finds “artists have an important place in changing the ingrained beliefs of society.” Her fantastical, comedic piece addresses all of our unspoken assumptions to show that reality is not always as it seems.
There are many challenging and compelling elements to this production. It contains original compositions by Armand Gerbault-Gaylor. It fits loosely into the genre of magic realism, and these elements of fantasy are created through shadow play, giant puppetry and UV lights. Using innovative technologies and circus inspired physical stunts, the magical world of the Dreamer is brought to life.
Emma was driven to create this play to challenge ideas about mental illness and recovery. By presenting a main character with a mental illness, this play is showing that it is a common and often hidden thing. In her words: “your best friend, parent or child might be afflicted and you would never know.” The experience of being a sufferer is made relatable and understandable by portraying this dream world inside a character’s head. The Dreamer aims to challenge the belief that mentally ill people are “crazy” or “broken” or “wrong”; Emma wants her audience to know that “we are just like you.”
The Dreamer shows how the process of recovery is an ongoing challenge; there is no magic pill or sudden event that fixes someone. However, this journey is a comedic one, because in this play the audience can see the working of the human brain and thus see their own quirks up on stage. The writing is down to earth and relatable, and Emma believes that “we are educating through comedy and through spectacle.”
Finally, Emma has incorporated elements of queer theatre. This is an unconventional story, but it represents the under-represented. It is important to note that the main character’s queerness does not define her and is not a plot point; it is simply there as a facet of her character. This is not a gay story; it is a story about a complex character whose main adversary is mental illness, not societal oppression, who just happens to be gay. It is the kind of representation that the queer community is looking for in mainstream and even underground media.
For more details, to set up a story or to keep in line with the latest updates please feel free to contact the Marketing Manager of the Loose Screw Collective, Amanda Eggers. Get more involved by liking us on Facebook or donating on Pledge Me.