Shane Adamczak is a man of many worlds. He spends part of his year in Montreal, part in Australia, and part in his imagination. Wherever he journeys, he unearths treasures that we encounter through his writing. Adamczak’s newest treasure is his play Trampoline, a love story about a dreamer. Adamczak is the writer, director, and protagonist of the production.
The story focuses on Matt, whose vivid dreams interfere with his every day life. “He’s always imagining little monkeys and things everywhere,” says Adamczak. “It makes him come off as quite strange. He’s in therapy and his therapist gives him challenges each week, social experiments, to help him interact with people better. He meets a girl, a manic pixie dream girl called Kelly and he’s instantly smitten.”
Matt, however, is also the star of a fake dream journal that Adamczak spent a year writing as a creative exercise. “I started writing Matt’s dream journal as a blog. Matt kept a dream journal as part of his therapy. It story-lined and all these characters developed,” Adamczak says. Eventually, he turned the blog into a play by enhancing the characters. “It was this preexisting thing I could draw from,” he says. “It was important for me to give the characters more dimension and age them up than what was in the blog.”
Adamczak never intended the blog to be anything more than an exercise. “It was an interesting process. When I started it, I had no intentions of doing anything with it except itself. It was me free writing. It was full of typos and very stream of consciousness. It was a bit of fun,” he says. What was most fun, perhaps, was that no one knew it was Adamczak writing. “I’d post the blog entries on Facebook, but it was me, Adam, liking this guy’s blog. People were fooled. When they found it that the play is based on the blog, people said ‘ We thought you liked that guy Matt.’”
The blog draws more on Adamczak’s imagination than it does on academic studies of dreams. “It was all completely made up. I tried to think of the strangest situations and about all the weird imagery in dreams,” he says. “In the blog, where he meets the love interest, she lives on the second floor and he dreams about ladders, about trying to fly, and shoes with springs.” Matt also spends a lot of time dreaming about animals. “Matt’s obsessed with animals because he wants a pet but can’t have one.”
Adamczak stopped writing the blog and has no plans to continue it. “It’s probably a done project. It’d be weird to write it now. It’s finished,” he says. “It’s nice to have a blog that stops at a point where he stops having dreams. His last entry is about how he stops having dreams and that happens later in the play. I wrote the play when I stopped writing the blog. I didn’t want to give anymore away.”
The play has been well received in Australia. “I was nervous when we were about to launch,” says Adamczak. “It was my first new work in Australia in 2 to 3 years.”
For those familiar with Adamczak’s plays focused on his alter-ego, Zach Adams, expect Matt to be quite different. “I think Zach Adams is the closest thing to me that’s ever been on stage. I describe Zach as me, but me if I could be a rock star in an alternative universe. Matt is quite different from me.”
Adamczak is never one to rest on his laurels. After Trampoline, he is performing with a sketch troupe that includes Al Lafrance and Jo Willers in the Montreal Sketchfest and the upcoming Fringe Festival.
Trampoline plays at the Mainline Theatre (3997 St Laurent) from May 7 to 11th, 14th, 16th and 17th. 8 p.m. $14/12.