Dreams of Sonya | A Review
Dreams of Sonya, an original work by the gifted writer Micah Thompson, was performed as a two-woman show by Lindsay Morgan and Katrina Case at the Kroc Center, April 19th and 20th. First, I would like give a plot summary as simply as possible and then expound further on some of the nuances of the text. Then I will evaluate the theatrical elements and acting techniques involved in the production.
This play immediately causes the audience to think, to ask questions about what they are seeing and hearing. The audience is quickly introduced to pieces of the puzzle and has yet to understand how they fit. The audience meets Sonya, played by Lindsay, who is in a place called “nowhere.” She cannot remember how she got there and why she is there. The next character to come on stage is Ophelia, played by Katrina, who is confused and distraught over having lost her name. She challenges Sonya as she leaves with a statement that Sonya may know the “word” that is her name, but she has yet to know the very parts that make up that name or what it means. The next character we meet is Smee from Peter Pan also played by Katrina. He tells Sonya of the importance of the story, the story of who we are. Next the audience is introduced to Katrina’s third character, Serena. She is here to help Sonya, to bring her back to who she was before, although neither of them have a full grasp on who she was. The audience can clearly see Sonya’s progression towards her own insanity. Sonya begins to tell Serena a story. Suddenly Serena finds herself in the midst of confusion by somehow being jolted into the mind of Sonya. She encounters three people played by Lindsay: an old woman from Tennessee, an insane woman who has no name, no feelings, and no direction, and Hamlet. It is through her conversation with Hamlet that she realizes what is actually going on. She is not a physical being as she previously thought, she is a fragment of the broken mind of Sonya. She also realizes that she is the only one who can talk with the small piece of Sonya that is still holding on to reality, the “soul” of Sonya. Hamlet admonishes Serena to not take existing for granted because there are thousands of things that never get the chance to exist. In the conclusion of the story, Serena finally reaches deep into the recesses of Sonya’s mind to find the answer to the major dramatic question of the play. What was that horrible and strong force that broke Sonya? A video segment made by Justin Snyder brings the story full circle when the audience realizes that Sonya is actually laying in a hospital bed. She was in the car with her husband and little boy, reading Peter Pan to him, when they were in a severe car accident. The father and boy did not survive. At the very end Sonya makes a choice. Does she chose reality even though it is painful or does she choose insanity? Although this puzzled the audience, the greater conclusion is that there is a choice. The question for the audience was simply, “What choice will you make?”