Review: Living the ‘Dream,’ on Your Laptop or Phone


Do you know of a site where the wild thyme blows? You do now.

“Dream,” an interactive experience from the Royal Shakespeare Company, which runs through Saturday and lasts about as long as a power nap, transports its thousands of viewers to a sylvan grove, then to a rehearsal space in Portsmouth, England, for a live Q&A. Tickets are free, though those who prefer a lightly interactive experience can purchase seats for 10 British pounds (about $14) and appear onscreen as fireflies.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — in the wispiest, most gossamer way imaginable — “Dream” signifies a bounding leap forward for theater technology and a short jog in place for theater itself.

A different “Dream” was meant to open in Stratford-upon-Avon about a year ago, as a showcase for Audience of the Future, a consortium of institutions and tech innovators assembled in 2019 and tasked with exploring new ways to make and deliver theater remotely. (Theater on your phone? They saw it first.) The 2020 “Dream” would have played to both a live audience and a remote one, integrating actors, projections and live motion-capture into a verdant whole.

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