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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: Dreaming in Autism (Fringe)

by Bruce McKay

“Do you have children? That’s what life is all about, you know.” And so this production presents the disappointment, difficulties and frustrations of a married mother bringing up her one child who happens to be autistic. In this case it appears to be an upper middle class mom: she handled $20 million accounts, imagined her child going to Harvard, and was at some point promised an “island paradise” by her husband. Her husband doesn’t seem to be helping much now though, being too busy with his high-powered job and, as we find out, nor is our provincial government (unlike Alberta’s because of their tar sand revenues apparently). Don’t expect any support from the mothers of other kids either. And there are strict schedules to be followed and foods that can't be eaten.

I can’t imagine the many wrenching challenges that arise with the profoundly traumatic accidents and ills that befall many of our children. This production gives somewhat of another glimpse into that though I think more so into, albeit unintentionally, the diminished prospects of those families who are economically marginalized … and the wholly unique perspective of those of us who ostensibly have it all.



  1. Christine RodriguezJune 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    This doesn't seem like a review of a show. What about the directing, acting, set design, light desing, the writing...? It's seems more like a commentary on the character's socio-economic status. Can a person not have a dream? And intentionally, yes, you should leave the play wondering, if it's hard for this character, what must it be like for people without means or dealing with more severe forms autism. 1 in 88 children are now diagnosed with autism according to the CDC. "It's more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined..." Source:

    1. The script has depth and variety, giving the actor the chance to showcase her journey in different and dramatic settings.

      The direction is insightful and pushes the character to be strong for the sake of her son while at the same time gives permission to be vulnerable. The character is forever developing.

      Design wise, a community of Montreal artist have created a setting and atmosphere far beyond any expectations you would expect from a Fringe show.


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