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That Poor Dream


A moving mosaic of what it means to be endowed with Great Expectations,That Poor Dream is set on a train traveling from New York City to Fairfield, CT, uniting worlds divided by geography, privilege, and time. Inspired by Charles Dickens’ classic novel about coming of age in a profoundly class-conscious society, the work draws on the company’s own complex relationship to class identity and economic disparity in American society. The Assembly's newest creation explores how class defines and divides us, and how our shared humanity might bring us closer together.


2013 Ice Factory

2013 Prelude Festival

HERE 2014

the New Ohio Theater, October 2014 (world premiere)

The Tank's Flint & Tinder series, January 2015

Directed by Jess Chayes

Text by The Ensemble, Stephen Aubrey, Nick Benacerraf, Jess Chayes and Eric John Meyer

Production Design Nick Benacerraf

Dramaturg Stephen Aubrey

Scenic Design Nick Benacerraf

Sound Design Asa Wember & Ben Truppin-Brown

Video Design Ray Sun Ruey-Horng

Lighting Design Derek Wright

Costume Design Kate Fry


Featuring: Edward Bauer (Pip), Ben Beckley (Drummle), T. Ray Campbell (Havisham), Jocelyn Kuritsky (Estella), Emily Perkins-Margolin (Jaggers), Moti Margolin (Joe) , Terrell Wheeler (Magwitch)


Photos by Nick Benacerraf

"How people make a living, roughly or smoothly, and what they make of themselves are the questions animating this nicely modern adaptation."

-- Alexis Soloski, The New York Times on THAT POOR DREAM


"The Assembly is a theatre company dedicated to starting conversations and tackling contemporary issues. That Poor Dream, their most recent production at the New Ohio Theatre, is another excellent illustration of their mission, intelligently using Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations to draw a parallel to our own economic society and the issues with class identity that run rampant in it....


Director Jess Chayes weaves the action of the play into the set beautifully, melding past and present into the overall metaphor for the journey that each person goes on in his or her life."

-- Victoria Teague, New York Theatre Review on THAT POOR DREAM



"Director Jess Chayes had a mammoth task of guiding the That Poor Dreamtrain, and fortunately her effort was sublime."

-- Michael Bradley Block, Theater in the Now on THAT POOR DREAM


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