Synopsis

The Dreamer Examines his Pillow

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John Patrick Shanley

Published by Dramatists Play Service

2 Male 1 Female

The first scene of the play is a conversation between two lovers, Tommy and Donna, who broke up some time earlier but who are obviously still attracted to each other. Donna is enraged because Tommy, a would-be artist, is now having an affair with her younger sister, but Tommy, stretched out on his recliner (which, apart from a refrigerator full of beer, comprises the entire furnishings of his spartan apartment), is seemingly unmoved by her harangue

In the second scene Donna visits her father, a once successful artist who stopped painting at the death of his wife, whom he had bullied and betrayed despite his professed love for her. Combative and complex (but also very funny) the father sits and drinks and eventually gives in to his daughter's demand that he force Tommy to marry her or beat him up

Then, in the third and final scene, the father and Tommy confront each other, with results which are sometimes menacing, sometimes antic, as a lively discussion about art and women leads eventually to a sort of tenuous truce--and a grudging recognition of the responsibility which love, in its various guises, imposes

"...a philosophic dream-comedy about love, marriage, and maturity" ~ Village Voice

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