Preview Screening: Still Dreaming (2014)

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The Preview Screening: Still Dreaming (2014) was held on May 19, 2014 in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre as part of the Talks and Screenings at the Folger. The screening was followed by a talk back with the film's creators.

Still Dreaming

From the producers of Shakespeare Behind Bars, Still Dreaming documents a unique take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as performed by a group of retired actors, dancers and musicians at the Lillian Booth Actors Home just outside New York City. These former Broadway stars embark on a journey through the magical play at the urging of the Home’s administrators, who see this as an opportunity to boost quality of life for the residents. As the rehearsal process unfolds, the actors find themselves experiencing both the pain and exhilaration of re-immersion in their life’s work amidst the vagaries of old age.

At the same time, the troupe’s young co-directors, Ben Steinfeld and Noah Brody of NYC’s celebrated Fiasco Theater, struggle to maintain forward momentum with this over-80 acting ensemble. Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and even minor issues such as sight and hearing loss create constant crises and obstacles for all involved. As the troupe pushes forward, the play’s themes of perception, reality versus dreaming, and memory become relevant in sharp relief. Ultimately, the performance of the play turns out to be surprising, mysterious and resonant, as the elders reawaken their spirits and even some of their forgotten dreams.

View the trailer for Still Dreaming. (Warning: some of the language in the trailer may not be suitable for children.)

Philomath Films creative team

Hank Rogerson and Jilann Spitzmiller (Producers/Directors/Editors) of Philomath Films are part of the new wave of documentary storytellers that has captured the global movie-watching audience with unforgettable real characters and deeply compelling true stories. Their last film, Shakespeare Behind Bars, premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, and went on to win 11 festival awards in the US alone. The film was broadcast on PBS, Sundance Channel, Starz/Encore and the prestigious BBC Storyville series. The film also had a highly critically acclaimed theatrical release and was picked up by the notable pop culture DVD distributor, Shout!Factory.