The Dreamer Examines His Pillow

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow

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$5 – $10


The Porter Center At Brevard College

1 Brevard College Drive

Brevard, NC 28712

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A striking, surreal study of the often bizarre byways that love between men and women can follow.

About this event

Brevard College Theatre presents

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow

by John Patrick Shanley

THE STORY: The first scene of the play is a conversation between two lovers, Tommy and Donna, who broke up some time earlier but who are obviously still attracted to each other. Donna is enraged because Tommy, a would-be artist, is now having an affair with her younger sister, but Tommy, stretched out on his recliner (which, apart from a refrigerator full of beer, comprises the entire furnishings of his spartan apartment), is seemingly unmoved by her harangue. In the second scene Donna visits her father, a once successful artist who stopped painting at the death of his wife, whom he had bullied and betrayed despite his professed love for her. Combative and complex (but also very funny) the father sits and drinks and eventually gives in to his daughter’s demand that he force Tommy to marry her or beat him up. Then, in the third and final scene, the father and Tommy confront each other, with results that are sometimes menacing, sometimes antic, with a lively discussion about art and women eventually leading to a sort of tenuous truce—and a grudging recognition of the responsibility that love, in its various guises, imposes.

-summary from Dramatists Play Service

***the dreamer examines his pillow was first written in 1985, in a world of circumstances and relationships often influenced by different information than our present. BC has intentionally chosen this script about complex characters doing what they can with the information they have. With this, some specific content in our show may awaken sensitivity in audience members, and we wish to acknowledge this.

This production includes:

  • Sexual themes and language. The major relationships discussed in-text often verbalize their experiences of sex as an act of connection and expansion.
  • Relational and age contexts for sexuality. Donna and Dad are father and daughter discussing their sexual histories, and Tommy (aged 27) is having a sexual affair with Donna's sixteen year old sister Mona.
  • Gender opposition and sexism. Donna's Dad asserts the division of two genders and reinforces stereotype which is candid and often reductive to sex as paramount.
  • References to the primal. Dad and other characters align a concept of "primalness" with imagery including the jungle, Africa, and tribalism. This language can feel racially positioned in a way that present day explorations seek to destabilize.

In keeping with our Mission Statement, BC Theatre Dept. seeks to encourage student and community growth and purposeful interaction with a range of ideas. We mindfully tell this story with the deliberate aim of ensuring both open-mindedness and personal safety.


Thursday, 10/6 7:00p performance: Check back here for more information coming soon!

Saturday, 10/8 7:00p performance: Check back here for more information coming soon!

Sunday, 10/9 2:30p performance: Check back here for more information coming soon!

Sunday, 10/9 7:00p performance: Join us for a reception after the performance honoring our cast and crew at this first Mainstage Show of the season.


Dad: Taylor Sparrow

Donna: Cassandra Dayton

Tommy: Scott Douglas

Dad Understudy: CJ


Director: Abbey Toot

Lighting Design: Andrea Boccanfuso

Asst. Lighting Design: Patrick Miller

Scenic Design: Andrea Boccanfuso

Asst. Scenic Design: Jodi Wyse

Costume Design: Ida

Asst. Costume Design/Dresser: Naomi Firebaugh

Sound Design: Grace Dempsey

Intimacy Coordinator: Abbey Toot

Costumes/Hair and Makeup Run Crew: Evy Higdon

Dresser: Evy Higdon

PSM: Eli Hughes

ASM: Anna Ervin

Props Supervisor: Gabe Bernhard

Scenic Charge: Oliver Morgan

Scenic Painting: Gabriel Britton

Wardrobe Supervisor: Gwyn Jennings

Video Manager: Will Young

Head Electrician: Rowe Davis

Light Board Op: Lyric Contarino

Sound Board Op: Roxie Petryshak

Camera Op: Lacey Treese

House Manage/Camera Op: Mickey Lasco

Box Office Manager: Lacey Treese

Asst. Box Office Manager: Will Young

Dramaturg: Sarah Hajkowski

Care Team: Seth Chepes

Community Communication: Sarah Hajkowski, Seth Chepes

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow image