What is life? What is this world? What is real, and what is only illusion? Pedro Calderón de la Barca's sweeping play LIFE IS A DREAM explores these questions that resonate in our souls.
"I have wanted to produce this play for years," says ReBecca Greene Udden, Main Street Theater's Executive Artistic Director. "But I couldn't find a translation that felt right, that did this masterful work justice. Nilo Cruz' translation and adaptation, however, so beautifully capture the epic, sweeping poetry. I'm thrilled to be opening our 38th season with Life Is a Dream." (MST produced Cruz' Anna in the Tropics in 2007.)
With previews September 15, 16, and 19, Life Is a Dream opens September 20 and runs through October 21 at Main Street Theater – Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd in Houston, Texas. Performances are on Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets start at $20 (previews are $10), depending on date and section, and are on sale in person at the Main Street Theater Box Office, 2540 Times Blvd., via phone at 713.524.6706, or online at MainStreetTheater.com.
About the play: "Astrological omens predict that if King Basilio's son Segismundo is crowned, he will become a horrible tyrant who will bring destruction to his kingdom. Basilio imprisons Segismundo for life, but decades later he decides to let his son prove his ability to defy the stars. In Nilo Cruz's translation of Calderón de la Barca's classic, the question of whether life is a dream or an illusion takes on a renewed relevance and urgency." (Dramatists Play Service).
A philosophical allegory of the human situation and the mystery of life, this fantastical play remains one of Calderón's best-known works. Nilo Cruz' adaptation is a sublime translation which renders Calderon's soaring poetry into richly elegant, modern language.
Produced by South Coast Repertory Theatre in 2007, Main Street will present the Regional Premiere of this stunning adaptation. Recommended for audiences 18 and up.
Born in 1600, playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca is known as the Spanish Shakespeare. The author of numerous plays, Life Is a Dream remains his most recognized. He is credited with beginning the second wave of Spanish Golden Age theatre. At various times in his life, he also served as a soldier and a Roman Catholic priest.
Best known for his Pulitzer prize-winning play, Anna in the Tropics, Nilo Cruz is a Cuban American playwright who studied under María Irene Fornés and Paula Vogel. He currently splits his time between New York and Miami.
Pablo Bracho directs Life Is a Dream. The cast includes David Grant (The Light in the Piazza), Steve Garfinkel (The Coast of Utopia: Salvage), Bobby Haworth, Philip Hays (Dog Act), Joanna Hubbard, Beth Lazarou (Dog Act), Crystal O'Brien (Richard III), Justin O'Brien (The Coast of Utopia: Voyage), and David Wald (Dog Act).
The design team includes Jodi Bobrovsky (set design), Carrie Cavins (lighting design), Chris Bakos (sound design), Kelly Switzer (costume design), and Rodney Walsworth (properties design). Lauren Smith is the production stage manager.
A post-show Discussion with the Artists is scheduled following the matinee on September 23. Director Pablo Bracho and the cast will be present.
Since 1975, Main Street Theater has produced high quality professional theater for audiences of all ages through its MainStage productions and Main Street Youth Theater. The Main Street Theater Kids On Stage program offers performing arts classes and camps for children 5 years to 14 years of age. The organization produces plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and 4617 Montrose Boulevard at Chelsea Market.
Main Street Theater is a member of the Fresh Arts Coalition, a collaboration of 25 arts organizations that work collectively to raise awareness of the size and diversity of the arts in Houston, and a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for not-for-profit theaters. Main Street Theater is also a member of Actors' Equity Association and of ASSITEJ, the world theatre network of theatre for children and young people. Main Street Theater is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.