Katie Dorian explores her obsession with memory, and the ways it shape-shifts as we age in her play How Often Do I Dream, which played at the 2014 Atlantic Fringe Festival and currently runs at the Toronto Fringe Festival through July 11, 2015.
We are immediately welcomed by name to Dorian’s Memory Museum, an exhibition of objects that represent Dorian’s own, real memories and we are invited to engage with these objects and to share what memories they evoke in us. The fact that a theatre full of people are able to look at the same object and to experience different memories associated with them proves that our five senses have the power to unlock the doors to our memories, often with unexpected results.
Much of How Often Do I Dream, which was directed by Alexis Milligan, is more of a shared theatrical experience between Dorian and the audience than a traditional play. We are told the same story throughout, with the same evocative movements, and we watch as the story shifts, subtly with each retelling, as the teller of the story moves further and further away from the experience. We watch Dorian learn the names of each audience member, we experience how we learn to sing in harmony and how we remember the notes that we are asked to sing. And we listen to Dorian’s heartfelt stories that honour her grandparents, who have since passed away.
It is this storytelling that is the crux of the piece, as we see how storytelling is used as a means to remember, we see how we tell the story of our loved one’s lives back to them when they are afflicted with memory loss or Dementia as they age. At the same time, we sometimes clamber to hear the stories of our loved ones so that we are able to preserve, and pass down, our own family history, as this informs the way we see ourselves. In this way, we begin to remember for those who have left us and in that way, these memories can be immortal.
Dorian exudes a beautiful openness and kindness that welcomes her audience in and makes them feel safe and taken care of throughout the experience. It builds a beautiful sense of community and a genuinely special theatrical memory.
TWISI FRINGE RATING:
How Often Do I Dream plays at the Tarragon Theatre Solo Room (30 Bridgman Avenue) as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival at the following times:
July 05 at 02:45 PM buy tickets
July 07 at 03:15 PM buy tickets
July 08 at 10:00 PM buy tickets
July 10 at 03:30 PM buy tickets
July 11 at 08:00 PM buy tickets