Anna St. Hesia Dreams

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 2

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 3

Anna is trapped in an anesthesia-related coma. Her only way out is to sink deeper into fantasy – a dark fairytale where people weave dreams into tourist destinations. When reality isn't worth it, is fantasy the next best thing?

“Anna St. Hesia Dreams” stars Jinny Ryann, recipient of Actor Award's “Best Performance” in 2018 for her role in “Melrose,” an independent feature.

It is written by Drew Petriello, whose play, “How to Be Lazy and Not Feel Guilty” was performed in 2018's Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Drew also co-wrote a show appearing in this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival, “Sunbathe in Darkness.” It is nothing like “Anna St. Hesia Dreams,” but you should go see it anyway. This is the link: hff19.org/5914

Reviews

Avatar
"It turned out to be the perfect show – not only to end the day but in many dreamlike, horrifying, visceral ways... With one actress, a couple of painted black boxes, a hospital bed, a chair, a tangled web of what looked like cords from discarded Apple products serving as the mare shell necklace and strong physical and verbal choices, Rinny and Petriello crafted a world that could make any filmmaker with a multi-million dollar budget green with envy... This is a complex dream story about fear and sacrifice and yet it is presented with such clarity and a sense of purpose, it is easy to slip into it like a warm bath and not want it to end. It’s what theatre is about."

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Matt Ritchey
"Jinny Ryann is captivating as Anna, owning the stage and telling the often bizarre stories with ease and poise. It’s a testament to her talent that such a specific script of imagery is conveyed to the audience with perfect clarity. She and the text are a perfect match. Unsettling, gorgeous, and with a subtle and wonderful performance. Highly Recommended"

sweet - Matt Ritchey - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


Avatar
"What I liked I liked how immersive the show is. Anna prefaces that the audience is a fragment of her imagination, even the stage manager and theater space is all imaginary which put me right in the midst of her fantastic voyage as she refuses to wake up from her anesthesia induced comma. What I didn't like It might have been that I fell asleep but it was hard to keep up with the many characters inside Anna’s dream world. Or maybe the many characters speaking inside my own brain? My overall impression Great performance by the lead actress and well written by Drew Petriello. I accidentally fell asleep for what seemed like a minute which triggered a dream of my own. That’s a compliment… I think"

sweet - Victor Sotomayor


Avatar
"For me this was a niche-market play - because of the fantasy element of it - and I think a lot of people may not have come to see it simply because they really didn't know what it was going to be about, which is a pity because it was well-worth seeing. I enjoyed it thoroughly - great writing and superb acting. Let me start by saying that this is going to be a glowing review, but I also want to preface this review by saying that, a) I'm a very harsh critic, b) I've seen very little at the Fringe that I've loved 100% but this came close, c) I don't see any value in being uncritical - as creators we have to take criticism and use it if we are to grow and develop. That being said, as someone who has very high standards for what I find good theatre, this play hit the mark. There was a section at the beginning of the play that I got lost - I felt like I was playing catch up with the text because there's a lot of unfamiliar terminology, and unfamiliar names of characters and I didn't really know what was going on for a good 10 minutes as the text jumped from a reality within a reality within a reality. In many ways this felt like a short story/prose piece that needed to be read to truly appreciate the skill of the story weaving, and I think it would make a great short story. However, once I had caught up I was delighted by both the language of the script and the performance. Drew has a talent for language and writing poetically that I envy. He creates beautiful imagery with his words and it was a unique story that I ultimately found very moving, even though, truth be told, I wasn't entirely sure what point, if any, was being made. One section that got me thinking was the moment when Anna starts talking about how we can never know the moment we fall asleep - we lose consciousness and we may have a form of consciousness when we start dreaming but that transition seems to be unobservable (perhaps some shamans/meditators can do it?). Jinny is a fantastic actress. She slipped effortlessly between naturalism and caricature (this is in no way a critical term, just a description of her delightful and entertaining broad characterization for the people who populate this fantasy landscape). I really appreciated the fact that she managed to create at least 6, maybe more, distinct characters replete with vocal, physical and personality traits. Her physicality in terms of creating magical gestures as she 'dream-weaved' was wonderful to watch. As a director myself, I was transported away from my critical brain and just relaxed into enjoying her performance - and then at the end of the show was immediately wondering what I could cast her in myself! I loved the use of voice overs and some of the visual gags, like the pertinently timed blackouts and the flip-chart messages at the end. Some great directorial choices!"

sweet - RK Suttle


Avatar
"Jinny is the kind of actor who has this natural aptitude of being cheeky. This is my favorite kind of actor, as cheekiness is something I look for in all theatre that I see. Let me explain: Anna (Jinny’s character) is experiencing a procedure the audience isn’t fully aware of at first. She fools (without her even realizing it) us into thinking that what she’s actually experiencing isn’t a big deal at all. As the play progresses, Anna gets more imaginative and childlike in her story, fooling us even more into thinking that she is merely telling us about a dream within her dream. At the end of the play, however, Anna very casually and eerily mentions what is actually happening to her. The contrast between her cheeky (yes, this is my favorite word), imaginative nature and eerie reality hits home harder and leaves us wondering what else Anna is hiding. Drew’s writing is equally playful, quick-witted, and sharp. There’s no hand-holding in this show – Drew knows his audience is smart and can keep up. One of my favorite parts of the design of the show was the props. Keep an eye on the mare shell necklace and the mug Jinny holds halfway through the show – these subtle details add to the playful nature of this show without taking away from the mysterious, mystical quality of the plot."

sweet - Lara Repko


Avatar
"It turned out to be the perfect show – not only to end the day but in many dreamlike, horrifying, visceral ways... With one actress, a couple of painted black boxes, a hospital bed, a chair, a tangled web of what looked like cords from discarded Apple products serving as the mare shell necklace and strong physical and verbal choices, Rinny and Petriello crafted a world that could make any filmmaker with a multi-million dollar budget green with envy... This is a complex dream story about fear and sacrifice and yet it is presented with such clarity and a sense of purpose, it is easy to slip into it like a warm bath and not want it to end. It’s what theatre is about."

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Matt Ritchey
"Jinny Ryann is captivating as Anna, owning the stage and telling the often bizarre stories with ease and poise. It’s a testament to her talent that such a specific script of imagery is conveyed to the audience with perfect clarity. She and the text are a perfect match. Unsettling, gorgeous, and with a subtle and wonderful performance. Highly Recommended"

sweet - Matt Ritchey - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


Avatar
"What I liked I liked how immersive the show is. Anna prefaces that the audience is a fragment of her imagination, even the stage manager and theater space is all imaginary which put me right in the midst of her fantastic voyage as she refuses to wake up from her anesthesia induced comma. What I didn't like It might have been that I fell asleep but it was hard to keep up with the many characters inside Anna’s dream world. Or maybe the many characters speaking inside my own brain? My overall impression Great performance by the lead actress and well written by Drew Petriello. I accidentally fell asleep for what seemed like a minute which triggered a dream of my own. That’s a compliment… I think"

sweet - Victor Sotomayor


Avatar
"For me this was a niche-market play - because of the fantasy element of it - and I think a lot of people may not have come to see it simply because they really didn't know what it was going to be about, which is a pity because it was well-worth seeing. I enjoyed it thoroughly - great writing and superb acting. Let me start by saying that this is going to be a glowing review, but I also want to preface this review by saying that, a) I'm a very harsh critic, b) I've seen very little at the Fringe that I've loved 100% but this came close, c) I don't see any value in being uncritical - as creators we have to take criticism and use it if we are to grow and develop. That being said, as someone who has very high standards for what I find good theatre, this play hit the mark. There was a section at the beginning of the play that I got lost - I felt like I was playing catch up with the text because there's a lot of unfamiliar terminology, and unfamiliar names of characters and I didn't really know what was going on for a good 10 minutes as the text jumped from a reality within a reality within a reality. In many ways this felt like a short story/prose piece that needed to be read to truly appreciate the skill of the story weaving, and I think it would make a great short story. However, once I had caught up I was delighted by both the language of the script and the performance. Drew has a talent for language and writing poetically that I envy. He creates beautiful imagery with his words and it was a unique story that I ultimately found very moving, even though, truth be told, I wasn't entirely sure what point, if any, was being made. One section that got me thinking was the moment when Anna starts talking about how we can never know the moment we fall asleep - we lose consciousness and we may have a form of consciousness when we start dreaming but that transition seems to be unobservable (perhaps some shamans/meditators can do it?). Jinny is a fantastic actress. She slipped effortlessly between naturalism and caricature (this is in no way a critical term, just a description of her delightful and entertaining broad characterization for the people who populate this fantasy landscape). I really appreciated the fact that she managed to create at least 6, maybe more, distinct characters replete with vocal, physical and personality traits. Her physicality in terms of creating magical gestures as she 'dream-weaved' was wonderful to watch. As a director myself, I was transported away from my critical brain and just relaxed into enjoying her performance - and then at the end of the show was immediately wondering what I could cast her in myself! I loved the use of voice overs and some of the visual gags, like the pertinently timed blackouts and the flip-chart messages at the end. Some great directorial choices!"

sweet - RK Suttle


Avatar
"Jinny is the kind of actor who has this natural aptitude of being cheeky. This is my favorite kind of actor, as cheekiness is something I look for in all theatre that I see. Let me explain: Anna (Jinny’s character) is experiencing a procedure the audience isn’t fully aware of at first. She fools (without her even realizing it) us into thinking that what she’s actually experiencing isn’t a big deal at all. As the play progresses, Anna gets more imaginative and childlike in her story, fooling us even more into thinking that she is merely telling us about a dream within her dream. At the end of the play, however, Anna very casually and eerily mentions what is actually happening to her. The contrast between her cheeky (yes, this is my favorite word), imaginative nature and eerie reality hits home harder and leaves us wondering what else Anna is hiding. Drew’s writing is equally playful, quick-witted, and sharp. There’s no hand-holding in this show – Drew knows his audience is smart and can keep up. One of my favorite parts of the design of the show was the props. Keep an eye on the mare shell necklace and the mug Jinny holds halfway through the show – these subtle details add to the playful nature of this show without taking away from the mysterious, mystical quality of the plot."

sweet - Lara Repko