Comedy/Drama. Translated and adapted by Jose Rivera. From the play by Pedro Calderon de la Barca.
Cast: 7m., 2w. (Any number of servants, soldiers.) Sueño is Obie Award-winning playwright Jose Rivera's translation and adaptation of Calderon de la Barca's classic Life Is a Dream. Set in 1635, this metaphysical drama—renowned as one of the jewels of the Spanish Golden Age—Sueño follows the life of young Prince Segismundo, heir to the Spanish throne, who is imprisoned at birth when astrologers predicted his reign as king would result in the country's ruin. The brilliant, passionate prince is raised in isolation. His only companions are the nobleman Clotaldo and a God who's very existence he questions. When his father King Basilio finds his own life ending without a legitimate heir, he releases Segismundo and places him on the throne. If Segismundo is gentle and civilized, Basilio reasons, he will be allowed to reign. If he is as wild and barbaric as the stars predicted he'll be sent back to his imprisonment and told that his brief moment of freedom and power was only a dream. When the tormented Segismundo demonstrates the worst of the astrologers' fears and he's sent back to the tower, he's forever unable to distinguish between real life and the world of dreams. Sueño is written in sharp contemporary language but it nevertheless seeks to ask the eternal questions posed by Calderon: What is man—an angel or an animal? What is honor? What is freedom? If life is a dream, who is dreaming us? Could God Himself be the greatest dream of all? Approximate running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. One int. set.