Dreams from a Dead City

theatre · company of strangers · Ages 17+ · United States

world premiere
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June 20, 2011 certified reviewer

My overall impression

Absurdist theater: difficult to perform-yes, difficult to write-even more so. Greg and Joe surmounted the absurdist form by creating a world of unanswered questions in DREAMS FROM A DEAD CITY, an allegory for the modern state of identity through technology. Though absurdism is never easy to swallow (especially near midnight after a day starting at 7AM) the audience interactive elements of the show fed my multitasking, ADD habits and kept me engaged throughout the abstract performance. Though the interactive technologies were rough in spots and required a lot on the part of the participants (first key to viral interaction — be sure everyone has the right tag words,) the use of modern technology added a necessary layer of physicality to an otherwise highly esoteric production. For us kinesthetic learners, tweeting and posting was the perfect way to reenact the story while it occurred on stage. The allegory plays out both on stage and in the house.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised when the show touched on the larger human elements of identity, self-worth and purpose. Even with so much going on, I was immediately pulled to the thesis of the play and came away pondering not only the absurdist form in a modern setting, but also my own place in a world of technological generation loss. DREAMS FROM A DEAD CITY attempts to use technology in a way seen previously only in viral videos and instillation art. Good start guys, keep giving this a shot. There will be a day for fully interactive, multi-layered, choose-your-own-adventure, theatrical storytelling soon.

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