by Kacey Stamats · August 21, 2014
In Enter Your Sleep by Christina Quintana, two friends meet for a night of shared dreaming and the entire play is that dream. I have never been as swept away in a surreal dreamscape, or so sure of dream’s transcendent meaning in a theatre piece.
How do two friends find each other in the dream world? In this narrative they need a smell -- the Santé Fe desert after a rainstorm, a place -- the overlook, and an object -- a rubber chicken. Margaret Grace Hee plays Glory Zico, a young woman who moves to New York, and Stevie Walker-Webb plays her best friend P.K. Whylde, the friend she left behind.
Walker-Web and Hee cavort across the theatre in matching red onesies. Inventive use is made of a short list of props: a bed sheet, several flashlights and yes, that rubber chicken. Our imagination is augmented by a projection design that includes transformative use of popular culture, video, and illustrations by Mia Capotorto Sommese. It is worth noting that Sommese, Hee, and Walker-Webb are all credited in the program as creatively imagining and co-directing this production of Enter Your Sleep onto the stage.
I don’t want to give away much about the many fantastic scenes, but I do have some advice for enjoying the show.
Sit close if you want a lollipop, but know there is no bad seat in the house. I sat in the front row -- and by front row I mean second row, since to give the actors full run of levels the front row is blocked off. This meant I got a lollipop during the gingerbread scene, though not everyone around me did.
Do turn to see what’s happening when the actors emerge in unexpected places, but don’t be worried if you can’t always see them, you will always be able to hear them.
Allow yourself to fall in love with these characters.
Don’t worry if the dream logic is confusing at first. There are moments of bewildering disorientation and contradictory dialogue but these moments must have been intentional on the part of playwright Christina Quintana, they are too brilliant and too fitting for the dream world to be otherwise.
Do get carried away. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll enjoy the ride but won’t see its full shape until the performance is over.
One of the great things about a packed house for a good show is that moment during the bows when you can look back across the rows and see everyone’s glowing appreciation. The night I saw Enter Your Sleep several members of the audience were overcome by emotion, but during the applause everyone offstage and onstage seemed radiant.