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Theatre Review: Topical Drama Provides Strong Finish to New Playwright Series

"Her Dream My Nightmare" Tackles Gay Marriage and Other Contemporary Issues on Villagers' Stage
HDMN Cast
The talented cast and crew of "Her Dream My Nightmare" on the stage at Villagers Theatre Villagers Theatre

FRANKLIN, NJ—With impartiality, playwright Tiffany L. Wilson conveyed to a pleased audience both sides of the issue of gay marriage and its relationship to people of faith.

"Her Dream My Nightmare," to its credit maintained its dramatic purpose throughout its reading without taking sides or being judgmental from either prospective on this issue.  That makes for clarity and clarity makes for true drama.

An interesting collection of believable chracters are orbiting Val, a recently saved born again Christian currently living her boyfriend Bo.

As her conversion progresses, she decides it’s better if Bo and her were no longer under the same roof.

Bo takes refuge with his old friend, upwardly mobile Shelby who is involved in same-sex relationship with her fiancé Tricia.

As the story unfolds, greed, hypocrisy, buried secrets, deception and lies surface as each character comes to realization they must each face their individual truths and truths about each other before they can embrace their identities and be themselves.

There was level of calmness in this play that made it very real.

A drama engaging in this subject matter could easily turn into a melodrama, but "Her Dream My Nightmare" didn’t go there.  It’s a safe assumption that credit for that belongs to both the playwright and director Nicole Lippey.

This excellent cast related to the material, and were enjoying themselves and the audience responded in kind.

The play had over twenty scene changes, something that was touched on during the discussion after the reading.

The playwright responded by saying the scenes all occur in the same place. If they’re simply breaks when a character leaves the stage it would have no bearing on the play.

If however, they are actual scene changes and it’s safe to take the playwright at her word that they’re not. It would be difficult from a logistical standpoint to stage Her Dream My Nightmare.

Now that the annual "New Playwrights" series has ended its run, Luanna Jones and The Villagers Theatre of Somerset deserve both acknowledgement and applause for the time and effort put in to bringing fresh works to the stages of New Jersey.

The popular series will begin again in February 2015.