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Amsterdam, April 2020. The COVID-19 lockdown makes Shiro Nguru, a former lawyer and the director of Fever Theatre Company, and her friends unemployed. What’s more, it puts their planned production of King Lear on the rocks.

In Fever's hands, King Lear —a play set out of time, a play about an apocalypse, a play that asks us what we need— is a fight for their own worth and a rebellion against everyone who said they weren’t necessary. In order to make that fight their own, they discover that they can’t rely on the stories of the past to shape their future.

This is the plot of FEVER DREAMS, the first film written, co-directed, and produced by Assistant professor of English Kristine Johanson. FEVER DREAMS is a short, ScreenLife film about Corona, precarity, and the necessity of making art. It explores the struggles experienced by a young theatre company trying to navigate and survive in a world dictated by Covid-19. In early April Johanson contacted her previous collaborators at Orange Theatre Company about producing that reflected on the lockdown world and the ideas and values that were becoming associated with it – namely, that art was 'inessential'. Kristine worked with experienced director Daniel Hillel-Tuch to translate her script to the world of Shiro: everything we see in the film is through the lens of her computer (this is the concept of the ScreenLife genre).

Kristine Johanson and Daniel Hillel-Tuch, Fever Dreams premiere, Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis, 10 July 2020. Photo by Michelia Kramer.

The film premiered to a sold-out crowd at Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis on July 10 and 11 2020 and it was released online on July 16. It stayed online only until September 1, but you can still watch the trailer below