A Dream Play
By Tim Pickerill

© Timothy R. Pickerill- All rights reserved




Nemo                           the groom

Girt                                    the bride

the priest        

the wedding party        


Phantom 1

Phantom 2

Production Elements:


  • Black curtain upstage, opens at the center
  • Cold fog flows down (the width of) back curtain and onto the floor


  • Video projected onto fog
  • Strobe behind upstage curtain (light = green)


  • 2 shadow phantoms, enter through the fog
  • pedestal stage center (down spot light = light blue 202)


  • Nemo seated stage right on a rock next to pedestal
  • Prerecorded music, (hallucinatory), keyboard, Therimen and samples mixed live


  • Video follow spot from side
  • Lights for wedding = white down spots, tight; red back

Audience = yellow
Nemo = green
Girt = violet
Phantoms = red

  • wedding ceremony at beginning, wine and cake reception after


  • wedding party plays trick, attach strings to Nemo , lead audience in cursing Nemo and throwing rice at him
  • Video

Projection on bodies and fog wall upstage; hallucinatory dreamscapes, morphing figures and scenes.  Also morphing color video projected from sides onto bodies.


            TV static

            Video of Girt talking gibberish to Nemo

            Nemo running on the street at night, frantic

            Shadowing someone on the street

Solarized (black) Body of Light (running from someone anyone)

            Nemo stops at cliff

Water (waves)

Shadows of people (legs) walking by

            Street at night, blurred, blobs of light

            Disk of Fire

Performance Outline and Text:

  • The wedding part greets the arriving audience and distribute rice


  • Clownish ceremony
  • Priest is officiating the wedding, standing on the rock


  • Lights = three down specials, trapezoid cut, no color, red back light
  • Lights = yellow on audience, flicker periodically; noises, crackling, hissing, crashing, laughter, (all in the midst)


  • Nemo is already drunk, he wears a black vinyl suit and has a red face
  • Where is Nemo, “ the priest calls out, they search for him, he is found passed out or stumbling around drunk


  • Girt enters, the bride, she begins hitting him when he is carried in (the lout!)
  • Nemo passes out at the alter and the ceremony is a failure; the Priest is distraught


  • Lights = green special on Nemo passed out on rock leaning on pedestal, with no/color special on face
  • Girt cries horribly for a long time her light = violet and cold


  • Sound = static building into siren like howl
  • Fog rolls down the back wall


  • Video of static fills the room projected on to back wall of white cascades
  • The Phantoms step through the curtain and into the fog, they are dressed like Nemo only white bodies and clear vinyl suit, black eye


  • Girt gibber jabbering...      while pacing back and forth; Girt is telling Nemo about something that he can’t understand
  • Video of Girt comes through the static partially


  • When the static stops and phantoms fall to ground
  • Sound = psychedelic swirl and howl


  • Video follow spot color wash from the side
  • Light = red side light for phantoms opposite of video follow spot


  • Phantoms, 2 male voices, syncopated, collage of the text, contorting bodies, step forward and fall to one knee,  one crouches behind Nemo mimicking his position, while the other curls up sitting on Nemo’ lap
  • Videoof Nemo running away or stumbling from someone everyone


  • Text begins and phantoms move away from Nemo
  • Lead phantom crouches on top of  pedestal, talking into Nemo’ ear while the other stands behind


I am lost

  • no


  • I am... I am

I am lost

  • no one is lost


  • I know these bones are mine
  • you can not take them

no...  one...  is lost

  • no


I am lost…

  • no


I am at home

  • I named this place



it is mine

  • I will never be lost

a seduction

I have drowned…

I must have



  • no

I am

immersed,  I...
am I not immersed?

my foundation is secure




  • you can not take that away


I can not see…

I can not see

because I am blindI am blind because I am…   drunk

  • whose eyes are these?


they are dark
aren’t they dark?

  • no


the light has gone out of them…

  • no


is it not dark?

  • these are not my eyes



it is dark
the moon has faded
there is no mirror for you
broken it lies beneath your feat

  • lies


then what?
whom other than yourself?

  • lies
  • lies
  • I can not see with them


you don’t know how to see

  • you confuse me



  • there is a vision…


it is your vision…

  • no…



  • bring me back my eyes


you think
their must be another?

  • The Video stops at an isolated precipice overlooking the city


  • there is..

there is no one
there is nothing
we are dead

  • The Video changes to water


  • Sound = mix in water sound
  • fallen

through clouds of rain

  • fallen

to a sodden earth

  • my lips brake

with a cry
to shake
the sky

  • and my memory flows

with tears
through valley floor

in mist concealing

  • I search
  • I call out

in silence

I have wandered off alone

never to  submit

  • to forget


I curse you and cast all away

nothing left

  • nowhere lost


  • comfort from?


  • even the sky


  • skin



  • flesh

neither sinew

or living bone

  • you

I run from your embrace

  • you strike me

with lightning tongue
and diamond flash

I am split

again I fall


  • Phantoms step back and crouch behind on either side


  • Water Video ends
  • Sound ends


  • Girt paces about thinking then  steps over to wedding party and whispers in an ear, her plan
  • Weading party takes bows of flowers off the wall and ties them to Nemo and give them to the audience, prompting them to pull the strings and shout their verbs, nouns, and expletives at Nemo and throw rice at them, after he is woken up


  • The crowd pulls their ropes and curse him on cue
  • Nemo screams stands and pulls back some with a shriek of horror


  • Lead phantom  hits Nemo on the back knocking him to the ground
  • Lights = green rectangle in front of rock and pedestal


  • The Phantoms shriek  and convulse
  • The Phantoms speak again, all at once, mixing the voices, chatteringly


  • Video of fire building in intensity
  • Sound = siren, moves into psychic swirls, & backwards cymbols


  • Video of shadows pacing in sped up motion

Phantoms: crawling around Nemo circling like demons
look into my eyes
see the face
of death

know that I wait for you
know that I long for you

look what pretty meat

the wheel turns round
silent bones hid underground



  • my blood

my blood is made of bacterium

  • my thoughts

my thoughts viruses

  • my skin

my skin is mold

  • my muscles

my muscles lichen

  • my brain

my brain a mushroom

  • my eyes

my eyes my eyes spores

  • my feelings

my feelings are poison

  • my tongue

my tongue is slime

  • my words

my words destruction

  • my bones

my bones an ancient fallen tree

flower of darkness
from buried fields
rise from your bog
and shine
with unseen light
all being

  • Video of color blobs and street blurs



with love
embrace the world

  • Lights = red stripe over Nemo


  • Girt begins to squirm uncomfortably, holds herself tightly
  • Sound = heavy pulse drone, mixed with swirl


the night crawls beneath my sex
my sex..  enveloped in the boiling sky
my sex..  carried aloft the silvery incantations of sorcerers
my sex..  thrown upon barbed fingers of clinging hope
my sex.. wounds to be probed by tuberous snouts
poisons extracted in time honored fashion
tongues canceling the void between lips
silence scattered between musings..  thighs..


Phantoms: have been pacing back and forth

  • tell him
  • tell me
  • tell it



  • tell him


  • tell him

what, what, of time
you want me to tell him of time
ha  is that it?

time was, when I
dropped my seed
little birdie sang
it would grow tall
I would spit
down on it
tell the universe would
be happy
fruit would be
brought down from heaven
and my body
would grow full
with its dawning

sweat would flow
from my brow
and that thought which
was of mind
would walk forth
and gladly sing praise

but then time became a not in my mind
and I a slave
and all had gone except, forgetfullness
and being but a shadow of truth
nothing was naught and done with


  • Video fire disk


  • tell him


  • tell him the vision



  • tell him

you want a vision yes

I bring you a vision

of burning eyes
and salt’n tongue
of naked fingers
clawing for the sun
portal of insanity
maze of death
tinder fortress of my mind
free my swelling lungs
crackling heat
burning cement under feat
where the mud
where the leaches
and flowing blood
where the mad cap play
in the stream of life

  • Video of sky with birds in flight, loops


yes but
what I want to know is
who here
was born
what collapse
into dance
sprung head first
from all that is
in naked

  • Video of static


  • Girt screams


Girt:         wake up!

Phantoms:         the house is on fire

Girt:         wake up!


feel the fire flicker
upon your toes
feel the smoke roll
across your nose

Girt:         wake up

Phantoms:         unconscious dweller in dreams

Girt:         wake up

what opium daze
what blind maze
keeps you here
what fancied illusion
what dark confusion
keeps you near
flames flicker
smoke rolls
and still you sleep
though not so soundly
you roll and struggle
toss and turn
and still you sleep
unconscious dweller in dreams

Girt:         wake up!

Phantoms:         this house is on fire

Girt:         wake up!

  • Girt steps back towards the door to leave


  • The Phantoms step back slowly and out
  • Video of static stops


  • Fog stops
  • Girt begins to leave the theater looking back at Nemo


left hand over
under current__ continuum
I might remain
opening outwardly
in waves unfolding
I remain not
turning away

I am not for you

to hold

but to chase
the doe in the grass


  • Girt walks out of the theater
  • House lights to half


  • Priest enters discusted, and invites audience for wine and cake

some wedding that was, he sure made a mess of everything

  • House person enters and nudges Nemo who wakes up startled and agitated realizes he is alone with the audience



I’m getting married

House person:
Yah, yah buddy that’s what they all say


  • Audience invited for wine and cake
  • Girt curses Nemo in lobby








© T. R. Pickerill- All rights reserved