The Power of Dreams

If you missed the amazing production or want to compare notes on your response, check out guest blogger Meg Crane’s review of A Side of Dreams. Due to the festival nature each show only has three performances. Be sure to check out the rest of the FemFest schedule so you don’t miss out and the remaining pieces!

A Side of Dreams is an incredibly powerful and stunning story of reconciling with ancestors and of healing.

Aina, played by Jessica Barrera, is upset that her mother has not spoken since Aina’s father’s death. After she storms to her room, her mother, Haisa, begins her journey.

The multimedia aspects, including video and audio, make the show incredibly stimulating without being overwhelming. The performers acted, sang and danced, incorporating a hanging hoop into the movements in several pieces. Playwright Jani Lauzon said she wrote a list of all the things she had not done on stage before that she wanted to do and incorporated them into her roles as Haisa, Pudlums, Fog Man and Haisa’s mother.

For part of the show, the role of Haisa was performed by a puppet, handled by puppeteer Trish Leeper. Though her facial expressions predictably did not change throughout the performance, it was easy to tell what emotions she was feeling in each scene. Her movements ranged from adorable to eery and always fit the scene.

At one point, the lights go dim and an eery creature takes the stage, mounting the hoop and screeching. When the lights go on, a not very intimidating dragon is perched there.

When asked after how the dragon made it into the show, Lauzon said, “Going inside the body to find intersecting stories is how I work.” She felt the dragon should be involved in the play, so she didn’t fight it.

A Side of Dreams has been evolving for several years. The devotion of the woman working on the show comes through. This is a beautiful piece that should not be missed.

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