Black Iowan Stories: nature of the dream


nature of the dream, a devised film exploring Black identity in Iowa, will debut at 7:00 PM, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. It will be available for viewing through Sunday, Mar. 7, 2021. Directed by Miriam Randolph and produced by Two Steps to the Left Productions with assistance from The Des Moines Playhouse, the film is an exploration of maintaining Black identity in predominantly white spaces. nature of the dream video-on-demand will be available at In order to make nature of the dream accessible to as many as possible, viewers can choose from a variety of ticket prices ranging from $5 to $100. The full ticket price will be shared by Urban Dreams and nature artists.

Randolph said, “We wanted to give Black actors and creatives a safe space to express themselves in ways they may not have had in Iowa prior to this project. Too often Black creatives are ignored or silenced and having a place for us to be artistically free is therapeutic and it enlightens us.”

The title nature of the dream is a double entendre of sorts, referring to both how the American dream applies, or does not apply, to Black citizens in America and also to personal dreams that Black Americans have. Using the latter helped form a narrative explanation for how each ensemble member would be able to portray multiple characters in the film. Randolph explained, “There’s a theory that when we sleep we may all be interconnected in a dream world. In the devising process, one of my actors brought that up and I loved that idea. We all have multiple dreams in our lives and each plays a different role in each others’. I wanted to embrace this theory through set design, lighting, and music.”


Once the script was developed, Two Steps to the Left Productions filmed in The Playhouse’s Kate Goldman Theatre and at locations around Des Moines including the Des Moines Art Center.

Immediately following the film’s premiere on Feb. 25, there will be a live conversation with the creators on The Playhouse’s Facebook page. Individuals do not have to have a Facebook account to view this conversation, nor do they have to purchase the film to view this conversation. The conversation will be recorded and posted here, on The Playhouse’s YouTube channel, and on Two Steps to the Left Productions’ website for future viewing.


nature of the dream resources and partners


Black Iowa Business Directory

Des Moines Art Center


Des Moines Black Lives Matter


Des Moines Black-owned Businesses (downloadable PDF)


Pyramid Theatre Company


Two Steps to the Left Productions

Urban Dreams

Purchase an exclusive nature of the dream UPLIFT BLACK VOICES IN ALL SPACES. tee shirt from Raygun. A portion of the proceeds goes to the nature of the dream artists. Click here for more information.

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