I took my family to the new Hand2Mouth production, Dream|Logic, an hour-long discovery quest full of exciting characters, interactive adventures and beautifully and smartly engineered design.
It’s hard to explain what this is other than to say it’s an fully immersive and interactive theater experience. Once everyone arrives in the “lobby”, people are separated into two groups (red and blue), and you go out and have very different experiences through a series of rooms that make up the basement floor of the Alberta Abbey. We were put into the blue group and were sent to unclog a pipe that would let dreams escape the dream vortex. There are songs, slow movements in and out of spaces — every room you enter is set, but you don’t get to just go explore, you stay part of the group and work together to discover what is happening.
The age recommendation for 10 years and up is probably good. I took my 8- and 10-year-olds. My oldest son was nervous for a while because he didn’t know what was going to be happening. He has anxiety, though, whereas my younger son was game on from the start. I would say, gauge your kids. There were some younger kids, but one who was not happy from the start and ended up leaving early on. There is a lot of waiting for what’s going to happen, including expectations of a monster: “quiet or you’ll wake the beasts.” If your kid can’t handle that kind of tension, then maybe this activity is not a great fit. However, nothing jumps out or aims to frighten.The energy is pretty positive, team work mixed with individual experience.
We went to the first showing, and it did go a bit long and they ran out of time. There was a whole set up at the end that we didn’t get to experience. As a family, we had some unanswered questions about the experience that I think might have felt wrapped up if we’d been able to go through the last module or phase of the event. My son was done, too, by the time we hit one hour and fifteen minutes.
My husband and I really enjoyed the songs and the energy of the music. Songs happen throughout the experience and they sometimes come quite unexpectedly. I think my kids were most thrilled by a room where they got to play with a monster (that my son called a yeti) and by the giant shadow puppet.
There are so many details to this experience. You move through it slowly, at what may be a dreamy kind of alternate time pace. Everyone is a little strange, which is great, and there are surprises, but they aren’t scary ones.
I think my favorite thing about the entire show was the level of detail. Everything has a place, it’s not overdone, you aren’t overwhelmed, but you are pulled slowly into this world. I honestly think I might of had more fun without the kids, but I’m sort of mean that way. Regardless, it’s definitely worth the experience. I imagine they 100% have the timing down by now and it’s definitely worth stepping into a dream vortex every now and again.
Dream|Logic runs through March 11
Performances: Saturdays: 11:30am & 1:30pm, Sundays: 1:30pm, 3:30pm & 6:00pm
Venue: Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
General Admission: $25, 18 & Under: $10, Arts for All: $5
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