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Essays & Reviews
  Vampire Dreams

Vampire Dreams

  Taking the award-winning novella “Unicorn Tapestry” to stage production in San Francisco let me tear down the story and then re-make it, deeper and scarier and stronger. Somehow, along the way it also got funny.  
  — SMC  
Buy a copy of the script

"Charnas clearly knows her way around the undead; her play is full of savvy, one is tempted to say biting, wit, with a realistic, common-sense attitude toward vampirism... (She) takes a refreshingly intellectual view of the vampire... the dialogue is bright and crisp... highly unsafe sex."
San Francisco Chronicle

"A hot, mutual cat-and-mouse game... something along the lines of the therapist and the con man in David Mamet's "House of Games". Landauer's quest for the roots of Weyland's vampire 'fantasy' is as dangerous to him as her growing fascination with him could be to her..."
San Francisco Examiner

"This is a beautifully written play... an intelligently straightforward yet seductive look into the needs and longings of these two individuals."
SCA Bulletin
  "Now here's a play to sink your teeth into... As the therapist-patient relationship grows, instinct collides with intellect and the verbal sparks fly. Think of it as a goth 'My Dinner With Count Dracula'... "

  "When Weyland's character steps foot on the stage, his presence immediately fills the theatre and sets the tone for the entire play.... The ending of the play is a wonderful tale of deception, seduction, destruction and romance."
  San Francisco Sentinel

  "Charnas has written a compelling dichotomy in which the eventual seduction must end in the destruction of one and/or the other. Charnas' dialogue is stylish and witty -- a contemporary comedy with an unsettling mix of romance, mysticism, fantasy and sophistication.... mesmerizing."

A Scene from the play:
FLORIA, alone.

(to tape)
I hit a wall with him today and he drew me through it, deft as a surgeon. If there is a book here, some one else will have to write it. I try to write about him but the vocabulary is all wrong. There is no vocabulary. I don't know how to manage my feelings about him, let alone write them down. I'm ashamed to write them down. I dreamed of myself with him in a taxi, like the woman from the poetry reading and what in God's name was that anyway, if not a delusion too strong for me to crack? The impact is all the other way, to judge by my dream: he was utterly focused, with the absorption a woman wants from a man in bed. No scorekeeping, no fantasies, just the senses, the moment, appetite overriding all.

(WEYLAND stands behind her and touches her as she speaks)  

He put his hand not on my neck but on my breast. Don't touch me. I am not your food. I am not prey.

FLORIA and WEYLAND in session.  

What actually happened at Cayslin?

I hunted a woman. She was armed a rapist had been active on the campus. She must have thought I was him. She shot me. I had to withdraw to heal.

You ran away.

As best I could, yes.

Why hasn't she told them about you at Cayslin?

Perhaps she thought no one would believe her. She was a foreigner of low status, on the house-keeping staff. I hear that she has returned home.

I suppose it takes silver bullets to kill a vampire.

I was wearing a thick coat at the time, and the gun was small and cheap. And I haven't lived this long without luck.

Were you afraid?

I was in shock, in pain, bleeding, I thought I was dying -- yes, I was afraid.

And this woman, what about her? Can you speak for her fear?

Why should I? It's nothing to me. You speak for her, Doctor. Better still, speak for yourself. I know why I'm a vampire. Why are you a therapist? To get your little sup of truth from each of your clients? Such paltry stuff, such fretful little lives. No wonder a great, monstrous truth intoxicates you. I feel you thinking after me sometimes, trying to look over my shoulder, prodding at my mind: how do you feel, what does this mean, speak for your anger, your anxiety, your boredom. You track me. You hunt me. You want me .

Broadway Play Productions paperback 2001 ISBN: 0-88145-190-8