813.556.T.REP (8737) info@tamparep.org

The Dreamer Examines his Pillow

by John Patrick Shanley

director’s notes by Christopher Marshall


This is a play, and a playwright, that I’ve wanted to direct for some time. An early play in his repertoire, dreamer… finds Shanley struggling to find a reason for his own existence: as a man, as a playwright, as an artist. More than simply exploring agency and volition, in his foreword he writes about the courage and bravery it takes “to move forward and live.” In the play, during Tommy’s vision, he declares “I was afraid. I am less afraid. I see ahead the possibility of being brave.” It is this conjuring of the strength it takes to live each day that I connect to the most. Our process has been about using the power of language to connect, though to do so is terrifying. It’s been equally about fierce listening and seeking to be affected as a listener, something we do less and less these days. In these spaces, (the theatre as theatre and as a room to hold scenic representations), we have finite opportunity, space, and time to connect, to learn, to discover. What a gift.

I thank everyone who gave of themselves to this project; it has been a wonderfully collaborative and fun return to the stage after a rough couple of years.

“BEGIN.” -Dad, Scene 3.

Chris Marshall, Spring 2022


The Dreamer Examines His Pillow
Christopher Marshall