Theatre@WanderingChild.org

I Dream Before I Take the Stand, by Arlene Hutton, is a short one-act (roughly 20 minutes) that is at once an aburdist drama and dream play of sorts. A woman dreams about the upcoming trial of the man who sexually assaulted (and possibly raped) her in the park one not-so-typical morning on her way to work. The piece focuses on the woman's subconscious and begs the question "Is the woman responsible for the attack against her?" and throws a critical eye onto court practices that allow such personal questions as what clothing the woman was wearing to be asked within the courtroom. I directed this play in the winter/spring semester of 2005 with a cast of four men (as "lawyers") and one woman (the victim of the assault). The script called simply for two characters named simply "He" and "She", but I chose to separate "He" into four different men to bring out some of the more nightmarish aspects of the script. I was blessed with some very talented people (particularly "She") who managed to pull the script and my concept off beautifully. There were many issues (the main one being that I hadn't directed in quite a while, so I was very rusty; another being a severe opposition to my concept among faculty which had a very impairing effect on me), but it all came together in the end. If I had it all to do over again there would be a number of changes I would make (most of them relatively minor, and a few new things to make my concept a bit more clear), but a change in that concept would not be one of them.