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Reservations Now Open for A DOZEN DREAMS

A DOZEN DREAMS is a labyrinth of 12 beautifully designed dreamscapes, each a unique multi-dimensional representation of the pandemic dreams of the playwrights.

Reservations Now Open for A DOZEN DREAMS

Reservations are now open for A Dozen Dreams, an immersive theatrical installation based on the pandemic-inspired dreams of 12 leading American Playwrights. Produced by En Garde Arts and presented by Arts Brookfield, A Dozen Dreams premieres at Brookfield Place (230 Vesey Street, NYC) on Thursday, May 13 for a limited engagement through Sunday, May 30. The performance schedule is Wednesday - Saturday from 2:00 p.m. - 7:20 p.m.; Sunday from 12:00 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. with audiences reserving timed tickets throughout those hours.

Audiences can make their reservations by visiting engardearts.org. One to two people are let in every few minutes. The entire experience lasts for close to one hour. Tickets are FREE of charge. Capacity is limited.

A DOZEN DREAMS is a labyrinth of 12 beautifully designed dreamscapes, each a unique multi-dimensional representation of the pandemic dreams of the playwrights.

Headphones, sanitized between each use, will be distributed to audience members to hear the soundscape and help guide them through the maze.

Conceived by En Garde Arts Founder and Artistic Director Anne Hamburger, with the visionary visual and environment designer Irina Kruzhilina and former Lark Artistic Director John Clinton Eisner, the playwrights featured in A DOZEN DREAMS are representative of a range of voices and experiences, from Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-nominated artists to fresh new talents.

Authors include: Sam Chanse, Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Emily Mann, Martyna Majok, Mona Mansour, Rehana Mirza, Ellen McLaughlin, Liza Jessie Peterson, Ren Dara Santiago, Caridad Svich, Lucy Thurber, and Andrea Thome. Singer Kecia Lewis will also be featured in the dream of Emily Mann.

When the playwrights were asked to share their pandemic dreams, they answered with heartfelt and haunting stories that explore how we arrived at this moment, interrogate the political, social, and emotional unrest of our troubling times, and imagine a new and better future where our society may begin to heal and grow.

An all-female design team, led by co-conceiver Irina Kruzhilina (visual and environment design) and including Brittany Bland (projection and video design); Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (lighting design); and Rena Anakwe (sound design), has created stunning multi-dimensional audio and physical interpretations of each author's dream where you will hear the playwright telling their stories or see them performing on video along a carefully sculpted path through a pleasantly disorienting maze full of delightful insights and surprises.

The experience of A DOZEN DREAMS concludes with an opportunity for audiences to share their dreams with others by writing their thoughts--and their own dreams--on a large-scale chalkboard.

The journey of A Dozen Dreams begins in the iridescent and wide-open space of Brookfield Place's Winter Garden when we enter a freestanding enclosure, not far from the box office, designed to look on the inside like a dusty and crumbling theater of yesteryear. This is Ellen McLaughlin's "My Dream in this Moment," a collective memory of what theater used to be and a prayer for theater's future role in bringing us back together.

The audience emerges back into the Winter Garden space, crosses it, and slips into a narrow corridor that leads to a secret doorway and then into the labyrinth itself. Now we are in a mysterious space of memory and longing, Andrea Thome's "House Dreaming," which pulls us back through time to her childhood home, now gone, as she prepares during the pandemic to have her first child.

Then we move to Mona Monsaur's "Dream" of young adulthood, a fragmented recollection of first jobs, high school prom, and hotel sex. Next is a video performance by playwright and spoken word artist Ren Dara Santiago of "As Hard As You Can," in which she digs deep to find the universe of love--what she describes as a "luminous plasma"--inside herself.

Down another corridor, we enter Rehana Mirza's "The Death of Dreams," a ruefully comic fantasy about an unmoored parent juggling her career and family responsibilities. We fall backward into the dawn of human time in Caridad Svich's "Under the Moon," and drag ourselves out of the primordial ooze to make a deliberate choice to keep moving forward against all odds.

Turning the corner, we find ourselves shrunk in scale and standing in the warm red gloom of our own mouth! This is Erika Dickerson-Despenza's "Fallin' Choppers Make A Mouf Real/Sharp-," a dreamspace of words, music, and rows of what might be teeth, or organ pipes, or churchgoers, or perhaps a cityscape.

Leaving this strange but cozy lair, we enter the choppy and chilling nightmare of Martyna Majok's "Pandemic Dreams" and become unmoored in a darkly magical landscape of fear, trauma, loss, and uprooted family, leading to catharsis.

Liza Jesse Peterson's "My Dream in this Moment" launches us into an entirely different way of dreaming as she speaks to us from the video screen amidst the crumbling statues of white supremacy, imagining a better world--that she sees clearly in her mind's eye--where Black girls know how strong they really are.

Sam Chanse's "Secret Catastrophe" follows a corollary theme of new worlds rising from the old, and people coming together to build altars to hope and a brighter future. Then the sun fully rises and the color palette brightens in Lucy Thurber's "Back to the Country," an unequivocal reminder of nature, goodness, freedom, laughter, and our power to choose new possibilities.

Now, at last, we reemerge from the labyrinth into the vertical grandeur of the Winter Garden and head for a towering and translucent structure to experience Emily Mann's "Spirit Dreams," in which she awakens from a dream of something that was good and beautiful, in which she didn't feel alone, and where her friend Kecia Lewis was singing a beautiful song that reminds us that the world is something we must recreate every day for ourselves--and for each other.

A Dozen Dreams is a timestamp of an historic once-in-a-century event that has affected every one of us and will resonate in our lives for years to come.

Concurrently with A Dozen Dreams, En Garde Arts, in association with The Tank and the Alliance for Downtown New York, presents Downtown Live, bringing over 30 in-person performances to Lower Manhattan May 15-16 and 22-23.


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