“Life is a Dream,” the masterpiece of Spanish playwright, Pedro Calderón de la Barca and adapted for a British audience by Helen Edmundson, creates a magical, but very familiar landscape for theater goers who enjoy classical plays. It’s rich text, delivered in earnest and with honesty, by a cast comprised of both visiting and local actors, with a variety of classical training and performance experiences.
“Life is a Dream” is heady stuff, but not without comic relief delivered by returning actor Bradley Carter, who breaks the fourth wall and delivers lines directly to the audience, in the role of Clarion.
Two primary stories are interwoven, forming the foundation for the major themes explored in this piece: loyalty and love in relationship, and the much larger theme of freewill and predestination. At the center of the plot is a young prince, Segismundo (played by Stephen Shore), imprisoned by his father, King Basilio (Peter Henderson), who has relied on the stars to determine that his son will be too harsh a ruler to be given the kingship. Thirty years later, as Basilio yearns to relinquish his crown, he decides, after all, to give the prince a chance to lead.
At the same time, a young woman, Rosaura (Nanette Fraser), wronged in her youth, stumbles upon the prince, imprisoned in a cave. Disguised as a man, with her sidekick Clarion, she enters the kingdom - only to discover her father and the man who wronged her are part of the Court.
Performances: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27 through Saturday, June 29; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30. Reservations strongly suggested for these performances in the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy, by phoning 563-1373 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Student tickets are $5 and adults $20.