Boston Conservatory at Berklee Tours Original Devised Work 'Tales from the Sandman'

May 16, 2018

Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s original production Tales from the Sandman returns for three Boston performances and a Northeast tour this May 2018—all free of charge. The piece was created in 2017 by students in the school’s Contemporary Theater Ensemble under the direction of Associate Professor of Theater Susan Thompson, and was developed based on the dream work of renowned playwright Jon Lipsky. The tour will include performances and workshops in Boston, Massachusetts (May 17 and 18), Greenfield, Massachusetts (May 21), Martha’s Vineyard (May 24 and 25), and Rhode Island (May 26).

Tales from the Sandman was created based on the nighttime dreams of students in the Conservatory’s contemporary theater program. Drawing from personal dream journals, students weaved together a story and wrote a script, which was largely inspired by readings from Eduardo Galeano, Suzan-Lori Parks, myths, and other sources. The ensemble also worked with paintings and shared fragments from stories of each other’s lives, and created music and videos specifically for this piece. Sound designer and composer Nate Tucker collaborated with students in rehearsals to create original sounds that helped bring their dreams to life.

Thompson described the devising process of Tales from the Sandman: “In our training sessions, the students learned bande mimé—a gesture and sound style developed by Jacques Lecoq at his International School in Paris and inspired by cartoons—and applied dream techniques from Martha’s Vineyard playwright and director Jon Lipsky (1944–2011), as well as from my own eclectic tool kit.”

Chair of Theater Sara Stackhouse added, “We are thrilled to have such an original and professional production, anchored by the voices and dreams of our diverse and talented student ensemble, to share with audiences throughout New England as we embark on our tour this May.”

Students involved in Tales from the Sandman are part of the Boston Conservatory’s B.F.A. in contemporary theater program. Launched in 2015 as the first program of its kind in a conservatory setting, it is designed to develop bold and inventive theater makers who will impact today’s theater scene and shape the future of the art form. This cutting-edge program is devoted to training the 21st-century theater artist—one who is not only a powerful performer, but also an innovative theater creator. The curriculum combines the rigorous foundational acting training of a traditional conservatory program with a range of more contemporary practices, including ensemble collaboration, devising new work, and reimagining classics. Boston Conservatory’s comprehensive approach prepares students to pursue artistically diverse careers not only as actors, but also as directors, playwrights, dramaturgs, entrepreneurs, and multidisciplinary theater makers and leaders.

Performance Details

All performances are free and open to the public.

Thursday, May 17, 10:00 a.m.
Thursday, May 17, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 18, 8:00 p.m.

Boston Conservatory at Berklee
The Zack Box Theater
8 Fenway, Boston, MA

Monday, May 21, 7:00 p.m.
Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center
Greenfield, Massachusetts

Friday, May 25, 7:00 p.m.
Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center
Featuring a post-show discussion with guest Jonah Lipsky.
Note: Theater students at Martha's Vineyard High School will have a workshop with the cast on May 24.

Saturday, May 26, 3:00 p.m.
AS220 Black Box
Providence, Rhode Island