A Dream Play

dreamcatcher image from A Dream Play poster

Department Performances

Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 8pm
Friday, November 12, 2021 at 3pm & 10pm
Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 8pm
Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 2pm
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 8pm
Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 8pm
Friday, November 19, 2021 at 3pm
Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 2pm

In this modern “Everywoman” play directed by Angela Ledtke, a young woman sets out on a journey in the course of which she encounters life’s wonders, contradictions and absurdities. August Strindberg’s dream world comes alive with fresh, contemporary resonances in this adaptation by leading feminist playwright Caryl Churchill.

Box Office

  • Advance tickets: $17 general public / $12 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff
  • Day of show tickets: $22 general public / $17 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff
  • Please read our current COVID safety protocols



The Theatre Program of the University at Albany’s Department of Music and Theatre is pleased to present August Strindberg’s A Dream Play with fresh, contemporary resonances in an adaptation by leading feminist playwright Caryl Churchill. Nine public performances will take place at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the Uptown Campus from November 11-20, 2021. The Department previously produced A Dream Play in 1980 under the direction of Jarka Burian with famed scenic designer Joseph Svboda.

Strindberg’s A Dream Play is one of the first notable works of surrealist theatre. The playwright himself represents a bridge between the theatrical movements of naturalism and expressionism.  His artistic philosophy was that the only person the artist could truly know was themselves. therefore, all of his works are highly autobiographical and are enriched by knowledge of his life. In A Dream Play, Strindberg’s ruminations on his failed marriages, class consciousness and the psychological and spiritual effects of modernity are all present.

Caryl Churchill’s translation, first performed a century after the original play, modernizes the text in a way that maintains Strindberg’s original critiques while also making them more understandable to a modern English-speaking audience. In keeping with Churchill’s background as a feminist playwright, this production also plays with gender in a way that Strindberg may not have originally intended but stays true to his overall worldview.

Director Angela Ledtke has undergone much contemplation in preparing for this production.  “Some questions I’ve been asking myself are: Why do humans suffer? Is human suffering necessary? What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be alive? What is the point of life? Why are we here? Are we alive just to suffer and die?”  She goes on to say, “I am eternally optimistic.  For me, Optimism must be released for you to be free when your journey on earth is complete.  I think this is a more comforting way to come to terms with the end since that makes it only just the beginning of a new chapter rooted in happiness.” 

Relating this production to current times, Ledtke says, “I like to think that while we continue to suffer this unimaginable modern plague -- that considering this experience as a rite of passage might bring some comfort to modern audiences.  With so much concern for mental health and awareness since the pandemic, perhaps the antidote is in shifting the perspective -- appreciating the little joys while honoring the suffering as red badges of courage while we persevere on our journey to the paradise in afterlife.”