Theaters and Auditoriums as Dream Symbols

A recurring motif in my dreamscape is that I’m trying to find a seat in a theater or outdoor auditorium. Often the only ones available are facing away from the stage, or are behind pillars. Sometimes the dream includes the performance, but usually it’s just one of those frustrating dreams of trying to obtain the unobtainable.

Whether the performance is musical or theatrical, it speaks in the language of metaphor, so for me the theater/auditorium is a place where I come to watch metaphor in action. In this way, it’s a place of higher levels of thought and awareness than I usually bring to my waking life. The fact that I can’t find a seat with a decent view suggests that I still have internal blocks to a full understanding of what’s about to unfold.

When I read Natalie Sudman’s book Application of Impossible Things, I thought of my dreams when I read this description of the first environment she experienced after the explosion that precipitated her near-death experience: “I stood on an oval dais looking rather intrepid in my bloody and torn fatigues, slouching a bit, dirty and darkly tan, addressing thousands of white-robed beings or personalities. They were arrayed up and all around me as if I stood in the center of huge stadium, the dais on which stood being perhaps twenty feet in diameter.” (p. 3)

While I’m not (as a rule) on the stage of the theaters and auditoriums in my dreams, the setting was easy to vividly imagine. In Natalie’s experience, this was a place to transmit information, which correlates to the purpose of the theaters in my dreams. The performance of a play in a dream serves to remind me that life is a kind of play, or as Shakespeare put it, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” As one who has a tendency to take life much too seriously, it is always valuable to be reminded of this perspective.

As an audience member in my dream, I am preparing to receive information, rather than to offer it, a sure sign that I’m still learning, still trying to understand. Of course, it is only the dream ego that has a seat facing away from the stage—all the good seats are filled with other aspects of my being that have a better, clearer view of what’s going on.

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4 thoughts on “Theaters and Auditoriums as Dream Symbols”

  1. In my stage dreams I’m almost always on stage, and usually naked. But those pillars are there. Or sometimes the whole stage is hidden from the audience behind a wall. That usually happens in my dreams about teaching too.

    The only exception I can remember is the amazing dream I had when I was grieving over Matthew Shepard. In the dream, he was on stage in a huge auditorium like a football stadium. He was barely alive, but able to speak into a microphone. He said, “I’m sorry I can’t be what you people want me to be. I’m not strong enough.” I took it as a sign to stop grieving, so stop using him to feed my emotions, and get to work on gay rights instead. In that dream I was in the audience, and there were no problems seeing or hearing him.

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