Shakespeare Theatre to Stage Reading of LIFE IS A DREAM at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 6/2

Shakespeare Theatre to Stage Reading of LIFE IS A DREAM at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 6/2

SPAIN arts & culture and The Shakespeare Theatre Company present a staged reading of Life is a Dream (La vida es sueño) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, newly translated by Helen Edmundson. In this special presentation at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, the philosophical masterpiece comes to life in a one-night-only staged reading by some of Washington's finest actors.

Life Is a Dream is a philosophical allegory regarding the human situation and the mystery of life, with a central theme of the conflict between free will and fate. A prophecy toys with the freedom of a Polish Prince, a Princess goes in search of true love, and everyone begins to question the nature of reality itself.

The play 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 and persuades him that it was all a dream. Originally written in Spanish and published in 1635, Life Is a Dream remains one of Caldero?n's best-known and most studied works. Packed with swordfights, love scenes, comic interludes, and poetry to rival Shakespeare, critics consider this play the greatest work of the Spanish Golden Age.

After the reading there will be a discussion with the director, Gus Heagerty; dramaturg, Drew Lichtenberg; and Rick Davis, Professor of Theater at George Mason University and scholar of the Spanish Golden Age.

This special presentation follows the successful series New Plays from Spain, devoted to presenting staged readings of Spanish playwrights recently translated into English, in collaboration with US theatre companies.

The reading will take place at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009, on Monday June 2, 2014. Schedule: 6:15 pm Doors open + Cava & Spanish Tapas Reception / 7:00 pm Reading begins. $10 Admission & Reception. Tickets available at:


Gus Heagerty (Director) As a Director: Dc Area: National Players @ Olney Theatre Center: As You Like It (Upcoming) Shakespeare Theatre Company: Macbeth (Fellows Project), Several Rediscovery Readings.
Assistant Director: Off Broaway: Playwright's Horizons/NYTW: The Shaggs. Regional: Seattle Shakespeare Company: Hamlet Dc Area: Twleve productions with the Shakespeare Theatre Company including: Measure for Measure, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2. Studio Theatre: The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom; OTHER: William R Kenan Directing Fellow at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Education: North Carolina School of the Arts.

Drew Lichtenberg (Dramaturg) is the Literary Associate at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Previous to joining STC, he spent two seasons as Associate Dramaturg at Baltimore Centerstage. He has also dramaturged at the McCarter Theatre Center at Princeton University, Yale Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the Public Theater's Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. He is a Lecturer on the faculty of the Catholic University of America, and he has been a guest teacher at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Kennedy Center's ACTF Festival.

Rick Davis (Guest Speaker) is Executive Director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, Associate Dean, and Professor of Theater at George Mason University, where he also served as Artistic Director of Theater of the First Amendment from 1991-2012. He is active as a director, dramaturg, translator, essayist, and librettist. His co- translation of Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" was performed by The Shakespeare Theatre, and his translations of Caldero?n de la Barca have been performed in professional and academic settings and are published as "Caldero?n de la Barca: Four Great Plays of the Golden Age." He has presented on Golden Age drama at conferences on Oxford, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Rick worked at Center Stage in Baltimore as Resident Dramaturg and Associate Artistic Director prior to coming to George Mason. He was educated at Lawrence University and the Yale School of Drama.

SPAIN arts & culture features the most cutting-edge works of international renowned Spanish artists in fields such as design, urban culture, architecture, visual arts, film, performing arts, literature and music. A series of exhibitions, conferences, showcases, and performances take place every year at the most prestigious American cultural institutions bringing a taste of all the creativity, history, and talent of Spanish artists to the American public. This program is organized by the Embassy of Spain's Cultural Office in Washington, D.C. and its network of General Consulates and Cervantes Institutes in the United States together with the Spain-USA Foundation. For more information visit:

SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY: Over the past quarter of a century, the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., has become "the nation's foremost Shakespeare company" (Wall Street Journal) and the "region's most dynamic theatre" (The Washington Post), and received more Helen Hayes Awards for producing than any other theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn, STC has grown from its residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library to the Lansburgh Theatre in 1992 to the opening of the brand new Sidney Harman Hall in 2007.

Pictured: Edward Gero and the cast of Henry IV in rehearsal with Michael Kahn. Photo by Elayna Speight.

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