Pre-Fringe profile: “Dream Time Down Under”


by Phillip Andrew Bennett Low | 4/15/09

SHOW TITLE: Dream Time Down Under
PRODUCER: Roger J. Kuhns
HAILING FROM: Pennsylvania
SHOW DESCRIPTION: One man show, comedic/dramatic performance monologue about a journey through Australia, working as a geologist, sitting in Aboriginal dream circles. An adventure of realization.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: Hey — as an Australian citizen, I presume that something like this is required viewing.

Jus who do you think you are, anyway?

womb with a view is the blog of phillip andrew bennett low, one of five bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival and other theater for the daily planet.

Okay. I travel, I write, and do geology and ecology, and music. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in over 65 countries, and lived in Africa for 8 years. Then off to Russia, China, India, countries in South America, and a year in the UK, and a stint in Australia, and so on. I’ve always been into exploring, and my geology and writing has really been a great vehicle for that. Story telling is my thing, and that led to writing full length monologues. The first time I saw Spalding Gray I realized – that’s what I want to do. It is important to me that we become better stewards of our planet. As a geologist I’ve studied resource scarcity and climate change, and have seen the effects of our activities on people and habitats. Through my monologues I can convey what I’ve seen and perhaps shed some insights into how it affects all of us, and what we might do. But I love studying cultures, behaviors, beliefs and mysteries. In learning about these things from first hand interactions through my travels I’ve grown to understand the profound differences in people, and the profound similarities in them around the world.

So what’s the big idea?

In my travels I met amazing people and experienced some very off the beaten path adventures. People like the Dali Lama, former South African President Nelson Mandela, economist Jeffrey Sachs, diamond discoverer Hugo Dummett, and the like. I am a manic note taker, and therefore fill journals with observations, art, lyrics, quotes for folks I meet, and lots of other writings. I’ve written five monologues, and they explore the interaction between cultures, international impacts, natural resources and ecology and geology, and business. Each monologue looks into some human condition or belief, even chaos theory and the occasional appropriate original song. My concept for the Fringe Festival is an hour long monologue called “Dream Time Down Under” about my travels through Australia, a bit of time with a couple Aboriginals and a dream circle, mining and resources, and the ecology and human impacts on the Australian environment. It is a comedic-dramatic story about situations and beliefs and distances.

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

I wanted to tell another story – a true story that I had experienced and that conveyed events that had a big impact on me. I went to my journals and reread what I had written over the years during my many long travels in Australia. I also recently lost my mentor, a dear friend who taught me much about geology and cultures. He was from Australia, but really a Renaissance man – a citizen of the globe. He is in this monologue, and his insights add to what I experienced. I wanted to tell a story on many levels, and it all comes together at the end with realizations of personal change and survival.

Why should I care?

My show looks at not only people and the human condition, but the intricate interaction between people, nature, big business, families, natural resources and ecology, and belief systems. It is a journey in which you will discover something of yourself by joining me on this exploration. It’s fun, it’s heartfelt, and it’s all real. This is an entirely true story – but it is not a travelogue – it is an original written and performed theatre piece. You’ll pick up some history and a different angle of reality as well. There are unexpected events, huge crocodiles, and perspectives of the timeless nature of the Australian outback. Many people have told me that my monologues transport them into places they never thought they’d go or feel or see.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

Dry land under heat
Timeless Earth edge curvature
I dream these gold stones

Phillip Andrew Bennett Low ( is a playwright and poet, storyteller and mime, theater critic and libertarian activist, who lurks ominously in the desert wilds of St. Louis Park, feasting upon the hygienically-prepared flesh of the once-living. His main claim to fame is probably as co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers, and as founder/producer of Maximum Verbosity, a garage-band-like theater troupe that is in a state of constantly re-defining itself.

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