The curtain rises on a Daliesque dreamscape; the setting for Pedro Calderon de la Barca's Life's a Dream at the University Theatre Mar. 23 to 27 at 8 p.m. nightly. This resplendent classic transports the audience back in time to a fictional Poland, unraveling a stunning story of epic proportions.
"Pedro Calderon de la Barca was a prominent playwright of Spain's Golden Age." says director Richard Epp. "Written around 1635, Calderon was as well known and respected in Renaissance Spain as Shakespeare was in England. Life's a Dream is a great old masterpiece that has entertained audiences the world over for nearly 400 years."
Translated by Adrian Mitchell and John Barton, the play weaves a complex story about the king of Poland, who fears a dark prophecy and hides away his only son for 20 years. As the aging king considers his final successor, he orders his son be brought to the palace in a drug-induced sleep. Upon waking, the prince's abhorrent behavior returns him to jail upon which the prince presents a poignant soliloquy questioning whether the events at the palace were merely a dream.
The play's final act culminates in a courageous battle, as rebels descend upon the kingdom, releasing the prince from his captors to claim the throne. The ending is unexpected and leaves audiences on the edge of their seats.
"This play is so rich in character and action, in imaginative settings and beautiful prose, that actors, directors and designers continue to be drawn to it," remarks Epp. "My own fascination with dramatic characters who face enormous dilemmas, or are altered significantly by their circumstances, attracts me to this play, and my obligation as a director is to share with a contemporary audience, as well as I can, my high regard for this play."
With grand sets designed by Annette Nieukerk and captivating costumes designed by Leslie Robison-Greene, audiences can expect a thrilling and engaging night at the theatre. Don't miss the final mainstage production of the season.
Tickets for Life's a Dream are priced at $15 regular and $10 student/senior. Tickets are available at the U of L Box Office or by calling 403-329-2656. The box office is open 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.