Welcome to the World, Sophie’s Dream

“It starts out soft, it ebbs and flows, crescendos the ocean until the waves start to glow…”

~From Blue Purple Butterflie, by Serenity Fischer

Dear Tangled Leaves and other Trees,

OOPS! I thought I was posting this on my own blog, Laugh & Dream, but it accidentally (except there are no accidents) landed here, so…. I shall copy and paste it on my own blog AND leave it here as well.

Much love and broken legs,

Wild Auntie Robin

Nine months. Yes, it’s been nine months, since the sweet Serenity Fisher and I sat upon tall stools in The Alreddy Cafe and first chit-chatted about concocting a project for this year’s CincyFringe Festival. I remember writing the meeting in my planner – it said, “Serenity Alreddy” – and the wordplay made me grin – after all, doesn’t “Serenity already” sound even more powerful than “Serenity now”?

And so…. without having a clue what we were up to, Sophie’s Dream began to have her way with us — yes, us. Although the title character, Sophie, originally appeared in Serenity’s unchartered imaginal realm, she (Sophie, that is) rapidly made it clear that her voice, vision, and deepest longings were to be manifested in our creative collaboration. More often than not, she’d speak directly to Serenity, leading her into soul-searching, playful dialogue and raucous rants with lyrical melodies. Yes, the ideas and seedlings all sprouted within Serenity’s cerulean sky gold blue imagination. However, often Serenity dismissed, belittled, convoluted or complicated the message, tug-o-warring with just what this creation was meant to be and whether or not she was indeed up for the task.

And that’s where I factor in. Recently, we came up with this nice shiny title for my role: “Creative Collaborative Coach,” (say it Seuss-ically) and it does sum up the work I’ve been doing with Serenity and Sophie’s Dream — but, before we officially clarified my title (for PR purposes), mostly what I did was cut through crap. Crap Cutter Througher doesn’t sound quite as nice (though I think I prefer it to the theatrical world’s vocabulary for one who does as I’ve been doing, which is “dramaturg” – yes, really). From the moment I heard Serenity’s concept for a script that would include a young woman going back & forth between dreaming and waking life and integrating lessons for creative self-expression, I was hooked. But then…. ??? THEN, I heard Serenity’s music – swoon, warble, sigh – and it was all over. This young woman, this story, this music, this project — it had its way with me. It wanted and needed to BE – to be told, sung, heard, played – and it needed me. I wasn’t sure why – in fact, that remains fuzzy to me, even now,  opening night, but I learned awhile ago that when that CERTAIN & PROFOUND SENSE of KNOWING strikes, I must heed, even in (maybe especially in) the face of mountains of unknowns and buckets of questions.

And so, I volunteered to be Serenity’s “cheerleader” and coach – to help devise schedules and goals and deadlines and hold her accountable. We barely knew one another – and yet, a sense of trust, mutual respect and creative flow quickly unfurled (maybe cause we’re both such hopeful, optimistic – dare I say “sparkly”? – spirits). Serenity created and I cheered. Serenity sang and wrote poetry and left me crazy long-ass voicemail messages. I applauded pages written, giggled at silly poetry, swayed to the music, and encouraged Serenity, ink drop by ink drop.  Sophie’s Dream was pleased. She proceeded to have her way with Cincy Fringe Festival judges, who “even though they had no idea what it was about, knew she MUST be part of the festival” — which meant WE MUST finish her — to find out what was next in the story.

This takes us up through the 1st trimester of Sophie’s Dream’s gestation, I suppose…. and I could go on and on, narrating about when we heard the first heart-beat, and felt the first kick, 1st hiccup, and got an  ultra-sound…. and perhaps one day, I will, as it has been an incredibly special,  meaningful time of creation and deserves to be documented (although I probably ought to finish my own children’s baby books 1st!)…. but today the contractions are building, we are inhaling and exhaling through the fear and pain, nearly beside ourselves with anticipation to finally bring this never-before-seen being to life on stage.

Sophie’s Dream has already (Serenity Already ;-)) made her way deep into the heartsouls of her production team and into the repertoire of her cast members, who could not be more perfect. I gaze upon each and every person who has found their way into Sophie’s Dream world with absolute awe. Our director, Caitlin Kane, whose clear vision, open (cardboard) heart, compelling insight and bold leadership has held every bit of this production tenderly, molding it gently so that Sophie’s Dream might be all she can be. Because of Caitlin, Sophie’s Dream has the dream-team of cast and crew she needs to shine. And – hello? – look at that photo — did you SEE that photo? Is this not the most BEAUTIFUL group of talented people you have EVER seen?!

Get thee to the Duveneck 3 Theatre to meet this beautiful baby play, Sophie’s Dream….. 😉 I know I’m a bit biased in my role of Wild Auntie Robin, but I tell you what — she has the cutest pumpkin cupcake face and most beautiful brown eyes….

Info about Sophie’s Dream:

Tangled Leaves Theatre Collective invites you to the debut performance of “Sophie’s Dream,” an indie play with music.

Performances are at Duveneck 3 (formerly The Lucky Step): 1220 Vine St. Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Thursday, June 3 at 8:00 PM
Friday, June 4 at 9:00 PM
Sunday, June 6 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, June 10 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, June 12 at 2:30 PM

Tickets and more information can be found at: http://www.cincyfringe.com OR by calling (513) 300 – KNOW (5669).

Written by Serenity Fisher
Directed by Caitlin Kane
Creative Coach & Collaborator: Robin O’Neal Kissel
Stage Manager: Allie Connell
Movement: Leah Hulgin

Featuring: Aretta Baumgartner, Taylor Cloyes, Ellie Jameson, Serenity Fisher, Nicholas Petricca, and Jordan Schramka

Imaginative, ethereal and insightful, Sophie’s Dream is about the profound connection between dreaming, waking up, and bringing forth the soul’s deepest desires. Sophie is a creative soul, striving to build a bridge between her rich inner reality and the exterior world,
yearning to express her passions.

Sophie’s Dream is a love story unfolding. Sophie encounters Gray, a man whose presence is at once disconcerting, comforting, and

The cast of six characters includes three Tree Muses and The Woman at the Piano – all playful visitors who remind Sophie who she was, who she is and who she is meant to become. This play-with-a-live-soundtrack is chock-full of truth-telling dialogue and lyrics, haunting melody and harmony, shimmering dream-scapes and transformational discovery.

For more information about the show check out the website: www.tangledleaves.wordpress.com.


One thought on “Welcome to the World, Sophie’s Dream

  1. wouldn’t miss spending an evening w/ sparkly spirits and cardboard hearts – sounds SO perfect. . . coming to the Thurs. June 10th-

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