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The Dreamer Examines His Pillow

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: John Patrick Shanley
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 47
Pub. Date: 1987
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0822203316
ISBN-13: 9780822203315
Cast Size: 1 female, 2 male

About the Play:

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Female/Male scenes.

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow is a full-length dramatic comedy by John Patrick Shanley. A striking, surreal study of the often bizarre byways that love between men and women can follow. Told in three related scenes, the play uses indirection and richly evocative language to make its unsettling but ultimately illuminating points. The Dreamer Examines His Pillow is a philosophic dream-comedy full of rich symbolism, magical realism, emotional intensity about love, marriage and maturity.

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow follows one couple's attempt to find their way through the maze of love, lust, family, and art. The first scene of the play is a conversation between two lovers, Tommy and Donna, who broke up some time earlier but who are obviously still attracted to each other. Donna is enraged because Tommy, a would-be artist, is now having an affair with her younger sister, but Tommy, stretched out on his recliner (which, apart from a refrigerator full of beer, comprises the entire furnishings of his spartan apartment), is seemingly unmoved by her harangue. In the second scene Donna visits her father, a once successful artist who stopped painting at the death of his wife, whom he had bullied and betrayed despite his professed love for her. Combative and complex (but also very funny) the father sits and drinks and eventually gives in to his daughter's demand that he force Tommy to marry her or beat him up. Then, in the third and final scene, the father and Tommy confront each other, with results that are sometimes menacing, sometimes antic, with a lively discussion about art and women eventually leading to a sort of tenuous truce – and a grudging recognition of the responsibility that love, in its various guises, imposes.

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow premiered in 1986 at the Double Image Theater off Broadway in New York City and has been revived twice. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 1 female, 2 male

What people say:

"…pungent, thought-provoking, original, poetic…and leading by stylized, fantasticated ways to genuinely startling illuminations." — New York Magazine

"…a philosophic dream-comedy about love, marriage, and maturity." — Village Voice

"…Mr. Shanley is a born playwright…." — The New Yorker

About the Playwright:

John Patrick Shanley is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. Shanley has written some two dozen off-Broadway plays since the 1970s, but he is best known for Doubt, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. He has also written extensively for TV and film, and his credits include the teleplay for Live from Baghdad and screenplays for Five Corners and Moonstruck, for which he won an Academy Award for original screenplay.

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