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City Theatre Presents LIFE IS A DREAM

The production opens Friday, September 30, and plays through Sunday, October 16.

City Theatre Presents LIFE IS A DREAM

City Theatre at Sacramento City College begins its 2022-23 season with Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, in a modern translation by Nilo Cruz. Roberto Pomo and Christine Nicholson are co-directors for this beautiful classic comedy which asks some of the same questions about reality and dreams that we are asking right now. The production opens Friday, September 30, and plays through Sunday, October 16.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on September 30, October 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15; and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 2, 9, and 16. Performances will be held in the Main Auditorium of the Performing Arts Center on the Sacramento City College campus at 3835 Freeport Blvd. in Sacramento. Ticket prices are $18 General Admission; $15 students, seniors, SARTA members, veterans/military personnel and Persons with Disabilities. Tickets may be purchased online or in-person one hour before the performance begins. All details and tickets are available online at

All audience members will be required to follow college COVID protocols by providing a photo ID and proof of vaccination before entering the theater. The college strongly recommends wearing masks while indoors.

Life Is a Dream, originally written in Spanish by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, has been translated by Nilo Cruz. First published in 1636, the play has been described as "the supreme example of Spanish Golden Age drama". It is a philosophical allegory regarding the human situation and the mystery of life.

The story focuses on the fictional Segismundo, Prince of Poland, who has been imprisoned in a tower by his father, King Basilio, following a dire prophecy that the prince would bring disaster to the country and death to the King. Basilio briefly frees Segismundo, but when the prince goes on a rampage, the king imprisons him again, persuading him that it was all a dream.

The play's central themes are the conflict between free will and fate, restoring one's honor, dream vs. reality, and the conflict between father and son.

Life Is a Dream remains one of Calderón's best-known and most studied works, and has been listed as one of the 40 greatest plays of all time. The play has been adapted for other stage works, for film, and as a novel. This translation by Nilo Cruz was described by Variety as "...a muscular, expressive text..."

Pedro Calderón de la Barca y Barreda González de Henao Ruiz de Blasco y Riaño (January 17, 1600 - May 25, 1681) was a Spanish dramatist, poet, writer and knight of the Order of Santiago. He is known as one of the most distinguished Baroque writers of the Spanish Golden Age, especially for his plays.

Calderón de la Barca was born in Madrid, where he spent most of his life. He was born on a boat in the Manzanares river, thus the name "de la Barca" added to his father's last name. During his life, he served as soldier and he was a Roman Catholic priest. Born when the Spanish Golden Age theatre was being defined by Lope De Vega, he developed it further, his work being regarded as the culmination of the Spanish Baroque theatre. As such, he is regarded as one of Spain's foremost dramatists and one of the finest playwrights of world literature.

Nilo Cruz (born 1960) is a Cuban-American playwright. With his award of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics, he became the first Latino so honored. His works have been developed and performed at New York's Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Pasadena Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, The Alliance, New Theatre, Florida Stage and the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

Praising his translation of Life is a Dream, the Press-Telegram said "That Cruz was able to translate Calderon's florid style into speech acceptable for contemporary audiences is a tribute to his skill and finely-honed sensibilities..."

Life is a Dream will be directed by Roberto Pomo (Sac State University) and Christine Nicholson (Another As You Like It Reunion, Mr. Burns, a Post Electric Play). The cast will feature Lauren Graffigna, Brianna Petri, Drew Woolley, Kevin Armer, Thomas Larkin, Shawn Ali, Rene Mickel, Angus McNay, Mariah Coburn, Jonathan Blum, Caylin Bach, Lauren Ormond, Joseph Dennis, Christian Vang, Nick Friedrich, Petra Tafoya, Sonny Alforgue, Racine Strong, and Johnna Wood. The artistic team will include Shawn Weinsheink (scenic and lighting design), Nicole Sivell (costume design), and Scott Bailey (sound design).


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