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some rambling thoughts…


"dream, dream, dream" 50's song
"I have a dream" Martin Luther King
"I dream, you dream, we all dream for ice cream" I just made it up

the shape of dreams, the sound of colour, to shape a dream…

What does one need to shape a dream… to alter the course of a dream… to take a dream that is happening and turn it to a desired purpose?

Does it only take the smallest suggestion or is it a wrenchingly painful process that takes vast amounts of mental and physical energy?

What agenda do the interrogators have? Are they figments of the dreamers' imaginations?

The desire to pass responsibility onto someone else, even actions that one is proud of, is very common and compelling… "I couldn't have done it without the help of so and so…" The letting of someone else take responsibility for your actions is very freeing. For better or worse, whatever I do, I do it because of them so if it does go wrong, I can just say that they told me to do it. Or, one might go where one would not normally choose to go if someone told them to do it.

Questions of authority. When faced with authority are you compelled to respond or do you resist being commanded?

And in a dream, one can instantly switch between perspectives… at the speed of thought you can switch from being interrogated to being the interrogator.


Re: Plots and Dreams by Carey DodgeCarey Dodge, 18 Jan 2008 17:19

Hi everyone. I've been intending to contribute to this for some time now, but I'm not sure I'm quite on the level. Here's my two pence anyway:

I very much agree with the notion that dreams are a sort of internal interrogation and a means by which we test ourselves reassess our beliefs, priorities and convictions. I think they can be torturous, but that's just part of the test. As for people entering our dreams, unwelcome or not, I again think that this is part of our self-assessment, so I suppose it's all an internal thing which leads me to question the roles of the external interrogators in the script. According to my model of dream structure they must be internal interrogators which are manifested here by the two individual characters. Similarly the man and woman are characters in each others' dreams (or only one is in the dream of the other) and only at the dreamer's conscious or subconscious behest (the latter being more accurately described in this case as the behest of the interrogator(s)).

I think that's what I think.

I hope that that's all clear and that I'm not stating the obvious, or grasping entirely the wrong end of the stick.

See yous at the next meeting.


Re: Plots and Dreams by YnnhojYnnhoj, 03 Jan 2008 17:39

Hello People of Planet Earth…

Just kidding - this is my first crack at the wik. Picking up the conversational thread, on the film theme, I thought someone should mention 'Waking Life' by Richard Linklater. From what I can garner from your fantastic working title, I think it is a 'must see'. For the unindoctrinated, it's an animated film about a dreamer within a dream. It has some fantastic post-cartesian existential banter exploring multiple concepts of 'reality'. I think it mirrors dream experience beautifully, mingling ideas like: life, death, sleep and wakening. I haven't read a script yet, but I believe dreams have an innate syntax (although they may appear chaotic). If we can weave a few syntactical threads into the non linear, multi-narrative, atemporal fabric of the 'dream traffic', it might give the production some latency or 'latent content'. People might actually begin to question their own 'reality'…

Looking forward to meeting you all,


Hi Anna and Erik,

Both of your recent posts have opened up serious new possibilities and directions. I'm starting to view the cluster of ideas I've put out so far as a kind of limbic "reptile brain" to the piece atop which the both of you are now growing thick frontal lobes. Anna, I'm delighted to hear of your personal experiences with dreaming, as I think they will help to supercharge the piece once we get going.

The two movies Anna mentioned reminded me of a whole bunch more that use dreaming or reality status ambiguity, notably "Altered States." Also, last night I finally got around to checking out the new David Duchovny series "Californication" and sure enough, the pilot begins with a (fairly shocking) dream sequence too!

Thanks for the list of questions. I have ideas for some of them, but I'd like to let Erik take a crack at them first.

I think we're off to a great start!


Re: Plots and Dreams by Eric LyonEric Lyon, 23 Aug 2007 16:54

Hi Erik

Thanks for your email. The sexy blurb is great. I’m going to do some stuff with it that’s about adding dates of the project etc and I’ll run it by both of you before I put it in front of the students to see who wants to get involved.

I'm really intrigued by the quote from Spook Country that Eric sent us both as well…

Here’s some ramblings, really not in any particular order. I’ve been thinking a lot about the project since Eric and I talked. I’m very excited about the collaboration as it’s taking me into a fairly new area and into a new venue that I’ve been keen to work more intimately in.

Don’t know if Eric mentioned it, but I was talking about working with radio mics from the start so that we’re not limited to performers standing/sitting/lying near a mic. I haven’t seen a huge amount of work at SARC but the work I have seen hasn’t really explored bodies moving in the space, rather sound moving and project images moving.

In terms of moving things forward in my head, I’m keen to unpick and locate things dramaturgically for myself so that I’m in the right place to start thinking about how we devise the physical and visual text for this piece.

As I mentioned to Eric, I’m not suggesting at all that there’s anything about the piece that is narratively linear – or perhaps even narrative or linear – or didactic in any way. I think it’s because I wasn’t in on the start of the conversation and am new to working with both of you that I’m feeling that I want to “understand” some of the whats and whys.

Some thoughts I’ve had:

Because of the complexity that we’re looking at creating, I’m feeling that the dreaming couple should maybe be two people rather than two halves of one person. I could be wrong of course….

Because I’m thinking we might need some constants as a dramaturgical red thread through a fairly constantly morphing piece. Whether that's the right place to locate the constants is another question.

I’m wondering if the other pair is their dream selves in some way. That’s the wrong word for it so let me explain what I’ve been thinking about today…..

I think we use our dreams to interrogate stuff in our lives but I think our dreams also torture us with that interrogation. Even whoever we are with, we are very much alone and sometimes lonely with our dreams. But then people trespass into them often without our permission. And that’s before we get into the realm where people might be doing that deliberately to attempt to achieve something. Eric’s given me some film references which I’m hoping to follow up in the next couple of weeks. While I’m typing the above I’m thinking Eternal Sunshine and Memento. Structurally as well I think they’re both interesting in that they’re non-linear, multi-layered, full of opacity and obsfucation but there are some constants which take you through the journey.

On a totally different note, I can’t imagine what it is like to not have any dreams or to not remember your dreams. From an early age I’ve always remembered my dreams in very vivid detail and they often can stay with me and their emotional effect can bleed into my waking life and make me feel very dislocated.

My dreams are often very visceral and have strong physical sensations and visual images attached to them. As well as my particular interest as a theatre director who works very physically and visually (unsurprisingly), this is why I’m interested particularly in the physical and visual text of this piece as it develops.

Perhaps it was because I’d started reading the stuff on the wiki about lucid dreaming and was thinking about this whole project but last night I had very complex and clear dreams that stayed with me all morning.

I was outside a small house and my sister was there and there were animals that we were trying to keep out of the house but the door was open. There was a tiny little ram. More the size of a miniature poodle but with thick curly horns. My mouth felt odd and I realised that I was growing extra canines the same shape as those horns. I didn’t know how to get to the dentist. My mouth continued to feel stretched as I tried to hide these extra teeth and I realised I ‘d grown an entire extra row of teeth about my top row of teeth. In a way I felt relieved. Then I noticed that the toilet bowl was full of navy blue suit jackets. Sometime later, a separate episode. I was in a relationship. I couldn’t see who it was with and it wasn’t anyone I knew but I felt a warmth and a comfort that I thought I would never feel. I woke up slowly and felt the loss of it like an enormous ache that was sonorous and dark.

Hmm. Deconstruct that….???!!

One of the strongest dreams I remember having was at the very end of my marriage when I was away on a narrowboat with my husband, knowing (which he didn’t) that when we got back that I was going to have to leave.

I dreamt that I was in one of those sleeping shelves that they had in the concentration camps. I couldn’t sit up and I felt terrified and trapped.

That one’s very obvious to read, but why I tell it is that I woke up in the process of sitting bolt upright and screaming outloud. Putting that image onstage of course would be a terrible cliché but I think the physical and visual text can at times be sudden and striking in this way. And at other times, incredibly subtle.

So, to ramble on……

The whats and the whys I’m asking at the moment are:

What’re your thoughts about the journey and shape of the piece…..?

If you had to say what was “actually” happening in the course of the piece, what would you say?

What things are we trying to say, however obliquely…..?

The bumblebee – where’s the dramaturgical seed for this….?

Is the piece about dreaming or is it about torture predominantly?

Is it about the power of the unconscious mind and therefore the power of harnessing it?

I’m aware that these feel very simplistic questions and please forgive me if they feel a little stupid, but I want to make sure that I’m really clear on the dramaturgical roots underpinning the thought processes developing the work so far so that I can contribute properly.

The stuff in your last email started to do that for me a bit but I need a layer underneath that for myself as a foundation for the exploration. I think you and Eric probably have a short-hand as I do with long-term collaborators that I need to catch up on! I feel tantalisingly close to it but not quite there……..which is probably my newness to this sort of material and to working with you guys.

What was the very first idea? Take me back to there……

I guess that's all for now



Re: Plots and Dreams by Eric LyonEric Lyon, 23 Aug 2007 16:52

Eric and Anna:

Anna, hi. I'm introducing myself here.

Very interesting ideas. I'm right along with you. Especially on keeping
the idea of any physical threat way way in the background. I saw a
production of Pinter's "The Birthday Party" once that was very physically
abusive. It completely ruined a play that I love.

I called them "interrogators" but I think of the whole text as oscillating
from an interrogation (with bad intent) all the way to a
meditation/relaxation session (with good intent). And all points
in-between. It will be interesting to
play with flipping all sorts of themes and roles in the production.

I've taken this "interpenetration" idea all the way down to the phrase and
word level at certain points and then tried to give the new "hybrid"
word/phrase a sort of normal, everyday status. That's a dreamlike element
in the language I like to play with. I'd say this idea of
"interpenetration" really guided my sense of what makes something dreamlike.
I've also focussed on an obsessive dedication to a certain task that makes
only minimal "real world" sense - the recreation of the bumble bee in sound.
This all matches my form of dreaming very closely.

I'm very interested in schizophrenic speech so I'm also very interested in
thinking about the whole text as, at points, taking place within the mind of
a single person. Maybe it's an interhemispheric dialogue or a frontal lobe
/ limbic system dialogue or an ego / id dialogue. Anyway, something like

Plots and Dreams by Eric LyonEric Lyon, 23 Aug 2007 16:52

I'll jump in with a bit of a ramble. I see our primary goal as creating a unique and excellent work of art through an intensive, long term collaboration between three artistic mentors (Erik Belgum:text, Anna Newell:direction, myself:audio/music) and a group of artistically inclined drama and music students. The result will be a performance of professional quality at the Sonic Lab in SARC, with the possibility of further performances internationally, and a fixed document of the work on CD as a radio play and possibly through a DVD of the live performance as well.

One of the most interesting challenges will be to engage and embrace creative input from this relatively large group, while maintaining the artistic focus necessary to ensure aesthetic excellence in the final result. The means of achieving this goal will surely be up for discussion as we move ahead on preparation for the project.


Getting things started by Eric LyonEric Lyon, 05 Jul 2007 17:03
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