Marco, Lou, and Josie gather by the river to remember their friend, Phoebe, who drowned ten years earlier. Their ramblings about the past cause them to enter into a fierce debate about the rule of law, war and its aftermath.

Meanwhile, Amy, Lou’s ten-year-old daughter, spies on others drawn to the river—a boy attempting to stall his sister from burning all memory of her boyfriend; three school kids smoking cigarettes and disputing love-at-first-sight; two criminals waiting to inform their partner about a terrible accident; a lone footballer searching for his true identity; and two starry-eyed students wrangling over fractals, black holes and the randomness of the universe. Amy also meets Phoebe’s ghost, who is strolling the riverbank waiting for someone to cross over from life to death.

As I Lay Dreaming follows the interweaving stories of people linked by the events of one night. It’s a story about the awkwardness of new beginnings and the suddenness of endings, about love’s strange currents and the collision of the rational and the irrational in divining war, sexuality, black holes and the nature of being. But mostly it’s about how one small event can change the course of our lives forever.

  • poetic realism
  • 70
  • 10 total
  • 4 female identifying, 6 male identifying
  • women, gender
  • 16 to 18, 18+
  • adult, young adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Female | 20s | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 75

EXTRACT: ..we've always had this code of silence about Dad's drinking bouts, not just us kids, Mum too, we don't tell neighbours, we don't tell anyone. And I'm there for another night. Two whole nights on my own. And the next day I go looking for him everywhere and I'm really panicking now, thinking he's had an accident or I don't know what, so when I see a policewoman on the street, I run up and tell her my dad is missing and she takes me to the police station, asks me lots of questions, and then she takes me home.

Ghost Girl

Female | Unspecified | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 51

EXTRACT: Marco and I kept battling on until Marco left in a huff. I thought about how hot I was, thought about how sad the world was, and I paddled in the river shallows, jumping over stones, the water cooling my skin. But then I slipped and fell, hitting my head. And there I lay, concussed, until the river rose and took me away./ I come to tell you this, on a dark night in the moonlight, because one you have seen might stay with me tonight.

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