Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU performs "The Dreaming Dust" April 24-27 before touring Ireland

April 16, 2007

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Indiana State University Department of Theater presents Denis Johnston's powerful historical drama “The Dreaming Dust” April 24-27 at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at 215 North Seventh Street.

Many people know that Jonathan Swift was the witty and satiric author of such classics as "Gulliver's Travels" and "A Modest Proposal," but less known is that he was also the Very Reverend Dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, the most significant Anglican Church in all of Ireland.

“The Dreaming Dust” tells the tale of Jonathan Swift, played by Nolan Mihail--a man conflicted by his love of the church, his love of mankind, his own personal eccentricities, and a desperate secret that could jeopardize everything.

Johnston, one of Swift's most controversial biographers and one of 20th century Ireland's best-loved playwrights, presents this dramatic story in a highly theatrical manner. Calling upon the talents of the Seven Deadly Sins (played by Brianna Oldenburg, Ashley Dillard, Michael Finchum, Eric Wilburn, Dominic Abbenante, Chris Hansen, and Susan Monts-Bologna) to tell this tale of savage indignation.

Johnston begs the question: Do the bones of Swift and his secrets deserve to rest in peace, or should they be dug up for a closer examination?

Christopher Berchild, assistant theater professor, has brought this production to life, largely in part to a grant he received as one of the university's first round of Promising Scholars.

The Promising Scholars grant, supported by the Lilly Endowment, will allow for travel and lodging for the 10 theater students involved in the production as well as for some important production costs.

“Without the support of this generous grant, the tour to Ireland would, quite simply, not have been possible. An opportunity like this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our students to not only travel to Ireland, but to perform in one of Europe's most beautiful cathedrals--the same church where Handel premiered his “Messiah," Berchild said.

The play will be the centerpiece of the Jonathan Swift Symposium in October 2007 and will be the first time the play was ever staged in Saint Patrick's Cathedral, where it was originally written to be performed.

Berchild wanted to be sure that the Terre Haute community would be able to see the production in one of Terre Haute's own beautiful churches before crossing the Atlantic.

Don't miss this engaging and powerful play before it leaves for Ireland! Tickets are $7 general admission and ISU students are admitted free with a valid student ID. For ticket information, please call (812) 237-3333 or visit


Contact: Katy Pieters, ISU Theater Publicity Director, (812) 237-3334

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or