Theater Department to Present Immersive Adaptation of Strindberg Play

Dream Play poster

Based on the classic “A Dream Play” by August Strindberg, the theater department will present "Dream Play," an immersive experience in which the audience takes a lead role, moving through multiple rooms away from the theater and, if they wish, engaging all five senses.

Directed by graduate student Mary Corinne Miller, the experimental production will have eight performances: Feb. 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for students/seniors and $15 for others. Tickets are available at the Fine Arts Center Box Office in person, online, or by calling 1-800-999-UMAS. Credit cards and UCards will be accepted at the door.

Each performance departs from and concludes in the Curtain Theater and travels to Rooms 433-442 on the Fourth Floor Arts Bridge in the Fine Arts Center.

Written in 1901 as a counter strike on the era of realism, “A Dream Play” challenged people to reconsider how they experienced time and space.

In Strindberg’s original, the play followed Agnes, a daughter of the gods, on her quest to understand humanity. In her travels, she met countless individuals and couples whose suffering was great.

Miller’s immersive adaptation invites the audience to step into the role of Agnes. Like her, they'll venture through the story, meeting the other characters Agnes met, pondering what their experiences mean.

A team of 14 actors will guide audience members from the Curtain Theater up to the fourth-floor Arts Bridge, where a dream-world will unfold throughout 10 rooms.

Audience members can choose to stay in one room, follow an actor on his or her journey through the space, or forge their own pathway.

Not only will this be the first immersive, experiential performance done as a mainstage production at UMass Amherst Theater, it will also be one of the first to experiment with engaging all five senses.

Audience members will not be required to participate in the performance but may be offered objects to hold by actors, invited to listen through telephones, experience smells in the separate rooms, and even taste food and drink while they move through the spaces.

After the performance, audience members are invited to join members of the production in the Curtain Theater to mingle, enjoy a beverage and discuss the performance.