I like dreaming – and I remember my dreams vividly, and enjoy analyzing and talking about them. It could be a narcissist quirk, or I’m just hoping to unearth some answers to the eternal question, ‘what’s wrong with me?!’ So I’ve been reading up on dream interpretation. I learned that C.G. Jung and Freud differed on the subject of dream interpretation and techniques. Freud claims that dreams are rooted in sexual desires and repressions; while Jung sought to explain themes and characters in dreams as archetypes rooted in mythology.
“The Miss Julie Dream Project” straddles the real and surreal world of which is indeed like lucid dreaming.
On opening night, Mina, an actress who plays the classic heroine of Miss Julie, faces the heroine in the surreal world. Miss Julie refuses to surrender to her written fate. Her rebellion leads to a missing actress while her ensemble of actors and a director fumble through a performance without the lead character. The dream weaves in and out of the dream world and the non-dream world. The actors playing as actors travel through a worm hole subjected to immense gravitational forces that collapses and expands bodies and minds as its pulled and pushed between two parallel worlds.
It’s a fresh theme that the Fell Swoop Playwrights developed based on August Strindberg’s plays “Miss Julie” and “The Dream Project”. How daunting it must be for 9 playwrights to collaborate on writing one piece about two different plays. I’m not a numbers person, and so 9-1-2 is already a lot of numbers in one sentence. But it really worked with “The Miss Julie Dream Project”.
I watched the play at the Three Clubs theatre. We were a tad late (sorry…), so I missed the first 2 minutes. Miss Julie and Mina were already arguing. Walking into the show late then trying to figure out what I had missed was doubly challenging. The extra challenge after “I got it” was realizing that I’ve walked into Mina’s dream. Miss Julie does not want to die again like she does every night of the performance.
In the midst of their conversation, the troupe enters with the director shouting “directions” of course. The action moves quickly from “Where’s Mina?” to “Oh, they’re here” – the audience… “What do we do?” It’s a quick but very subtle movement from dream to reality and then back to dream when Mina tries to tell them “I’m here”, but she’s trapped with Miss Julie who won’t allow her to return to the stage of reality.
The interplay of the characters moving from real to surreal is like seagulls beating their wings to catch the air current that allows them to soar and float effortlessly.
What does Miss Julie want, if she’s refusing to fulfill her playwright’s designed demise? She wants to feel alive, and what could be more alive than having an affair? Like any willful heroine she gets what she wants, but at what cost? Who’s going to have the baby and in which life will the baby be born? You know all these questions aren’t going to be answered in the dream. The answers only come to blossom after the images and words have stewed in your subconscious for several days. And this is what has happened to me. It’s Wednesday, the fifth day, after seeing the play. Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate what’s happened until after its taken effect – kind of like the absorption time needed to learn a new skill.
“The Miss Julie Dream Project” is a fun brain teaser. There are 3 shows left: Thursday, June 20th; Saturday, June 22nd; Wednesday June 26th at Three Clubs.