Alana Bridgewater / Blog

Review of The Dream

A BomBARDment of Forward Thinking Screaming teenagers and naughty camp councilors would normally be the predictable opening to a bad horror movie. In the case of Brian Kennington’s The Dream, it’s neither a horror movie nor teenagers acting out. Rather, it’s a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream complete with rock and roll, hilarious teenage antics and a fairy named Puck. THE DREAM By Brian Kennington April 21 – May 8, 2010 The Walmer Centre 188 Lowther Ave., Toronto ON Tickets $20.00 - $25.00 416-966-1062 www.bearproductions.org If camp councilors and 1970's rockers Three Dog Night were around when Shakespeare penned A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Bard may have gone to his grave with a wheelbarrow of a cash. 'The Dream,' Brian Kennington's revolutionary Canadian vision of story plays The Walmer Centre until May 8. In The Bard’s original telling, Hermia refuses to follow her father Egeus's instructions for her to marry the man he has chosen, the young suitor Demetrius. Young, rebellious and in love, Hermia and her lover Lysander chose to elope by escaping through the forest at night. Hatching a plan that includes her dearest friend Helena covering for them seems a sure bet, but Helena, recently rejected by Demetrius, feels she will win his love by revealing the young lovers plans. Demetrius, determined to fulfill his desire to have Hermia as his wife, pursues them through the forest whilst being followed by the love lorn Helena. Set in Camp Shambala, Brian Kennington’s modern day reworking still has a rebellious Hermia, defying her father’s orders to stay away from Paul Lysander, the jealous Richard Demetrius and klutzy best friend, Helen. Add some hyper campers, rambunctious camp councilors, a few delicious subplots including mischievous faeries, a domestic dispute between a king and his queen and you have The Dream. In an attempt to make Shakespeare more accessible to the students he was teaching, drama teacher Brian Kennington turned to Three Dog Night for inspiration. A DVD of the band performing with an orchestra became the muse that would help him turn the classic version into a 1970’s rock and roll, fun filled version that students and a theatre loving public would not only love, but learn to appreciate the classic tale on a whole new level. Clever dialogue, tight choreography and a kick ass score, featuring Three Dog Night’ Shambala, Midnight Runaway, An Old Fashioned Love Song and Let Me Serenade You, have audience members singing along, with the entire audience singing and clapping during the closing song Celebrate. Cast members Blair Kay, as best friend Helen and Steven Gallagher as the mischievous Puck, shine throughout the evening, but the brightest moments of The Dream are the hilarious group of camp councilors and their on going antics. Starvling, Snout, Flute, Snug and Bottom are played with perfectly timed slapstick. The highlight being the attempt at their own production of The Lord of the Rings. While having an authentic Fringe Festival feel, this production has places to go. Loaded with campy humour, interjections of modern lingo, rock and roll, and the forward thinking direction of Brian Kennington, The Dream is not only an entertaining two hours but a brilliant way to see Shakespeare in a brand new light.


Have you ever felt like you spend most of your time waiting? You wait for the bus, you wait in line you wait to grow up you wait for people to start your record. The last point is the one I will address today.

In my career I have met wonderful musicians, producers, writers all with visions of grandeur. They have big ideas and some even start the process. What our industry lacks is follow through. We spend so much time dreaming and less time creating. We all have to eat, pay bills, look after family and so on and so on. Eventually you look back and realize you've been waiting for twelve years and are no closer to recording that album with x or making that film with y.

So why the rant? We, as a collective group, need to stop.But how? Here are some ways to get and keep the ball rolling:


If you are working or are self employed, you must create a time and a workspace and "go to work". That means, if you have a day job, set aside two hours in your day to work on your craft. Send out emails, create websites, write lyrics, score music whatever it is. It's your time! If you are self or un employed. "Go to work" or get out of bed for 9am and work until 12 on your craft. Set up meetings in the afternoon and stick to your schedule.


Build your contacts. Call Socan, SODRAC, join AFM and try to attend at least one networking event a month. If money is tight, look for free workshops or discussions at your nearest college or in the community. Look for grants applications that will give you the freedom to create without worrying about your next meal.


If someone wants to work with you, take their cards, send them emails, follow up on their availability. Don't wait for them to come to you. Start the process and continue the communication.

Eventually these things will pay off and the waiting will cease. Let the other person know that you are serious about your craft and about the opportunity.

This, in turn, will save you twelve years of regret.


DollyG  (almost 8 years ago)

This is the most feedback I've ever encountered on Reverb. You are so right. I've been waiting all my life, it seems. Now, my son and daughter have decided to embark on this journey, and my heart goes out to them to have patience and to continue to work and believe in themselves! God bless you, Alana!