I dreamt the Theatre was dead
and I revived it single-handedly.
So how did I revive the Theatre?
What did that mean, exactly?
I sprinkled the air with fairy dust
nothing more than usual, just
motes which dance in shafts of light –
thought that would do just right.
Then there was the varnish smell
from the wooden boards long-trodden
longer abandoned, who can tell
how long they lay, forgotten?
There would be a velvet curtain
burgundy-red and thick with dust
and a chord to draw the curtains in;
a stage with talent blessed
I cursed myself – the talent was not mine
and called the players in
to win our hearts, their honeyed words like wine
breathed into life again
those tales of old, once woven by a bard
who held our hearts in the palm of his hand
which beat to the sacred rhythm of the word
to rise and fall with metrical demand.
Not in the words, nor in the actors faces
nor in old love within revived anew
the light that played upon those sacred spaces
gave birth to dreams which time cannot undo.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for earthweal
This week, Brendan has set us a Midsummer Night’s Dreamtime challenge. In his essay, he quotes extensively from Shakespeare’s play, which I acted in as a lovestruck teenager, in love with none other than Bottom! If that isn’t poetic justice…
I did dream a while back that I single-handedly revived the Theatre. I cannot remember a thing I did in the dream to achieve this grandiose aim, so I had to fill in the blanks with my memories of both acting on the stage and watching performances. To watch a theatrical performance is to be transported to a kind of dreamtime or ‘everywhen,’ as Brendan puts it.