As she wanders this dream world, hoping to relieve humans of their unhappiness, Agnes (Alison Barton) meets a cavalcade of characters, including a jilted Officer, a despairing Poet, an angry Lawyer, and a jovial Doorman guarding a mysterious doorway. Therrien's use of masks, puppetry, and the Tadashi Suzuki method of acting is inspired, giving Dreamplay the right sense of off-kilter fun and danger. Highlights include a sequence where Agnes enters into a matrimonial nightmare with the lawyer, and the introduction of the Quarantine Master, a sort of demented Mickey Mouse.
The 12-person cast display boundless energy in the creation of the subversive Dreamplay experience. Even beneath his large green "old man" mask, Ben Rosenblatt gives an affecting performance as The Officer who waits and waits and waits for his beloved Victoria. In his steampunk artiste get-up, Jack Fellows manages the same feat as The Poet, carrying both disappointment and hope in his bearing. Those emotions permeate this play, which, in its abstract way, asks how we are able to survive and even thrive in such a sorrow-filled existence. Dreamplay doesn't offer answers, but it encourages us to ponder the big questions that surround our existence.
-- Brooke Pierce