Little-known 1677 drama by Spanish master playwright gets rare staging alongside famous 1635 original.
February 10 - 26 at La MaMa
La MaMa ETC in association with Magis Theatre Company will present CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS, a unique opportunity to see Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s two versions of his classic LIFE IS A DREAM written forty-two years apart, (1635 and 1677) in one sitting. Directed by George Drance and Kelly Johnston, performances of begin February 10th at The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa with opening set for Monday, February 13.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca's first masterpiece LIFE IS A DREAM (1635) is considered to be Spain’s Hamlet. It deals with questions of freedom, choice, perception and power. As Calderon’s career soared, he felt the need to go deeper into his own spirit, and forty years after his magnum opus premiered, he completely re-wrote it to examine deeper questions. In the rarely performed LIFE IS A DREAM (1677), the setting changes from the court of Polonia, to the court of the universe. The central question becomes “is the human being a fitting caretaker of the universe?”
Both pieces in CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS deal with questioning what is real in surreal and confusing circumstances, while looking at human freedom: the first sees it through the eyes of a young playwright at the height of his powers and the second shares the perspective of the same artist now enjoying the wisdom that comes with age.
Staging these two plays together for the first time ever in the US gives audiences an opportunity to consider these timely themes in conversation with each other, and featuring original music from award winning composer Elizabeth Swados (1951-2016) making CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS a unique event that is sure to stimulate thought and dialogue.
CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS stars Danielle Delgado, Tsebiya Derry, Margi Sharp Douglas, George Drance, Erika Iverson, Ali Kennedy Scott, Leslie Lewis, Joe McGranaghan, Gilbert Molina, Rachel Murdy, Gabriel Portuondo, Ashley Setzler, Dan Soloman and Dennis Vargas.
George Drance has performed and directed in over twenty countries on five continents. New York credits include The Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival, The Metropolitan Opera, La MaMa’s resident company the Great Jones Rep. With La MaMa, he has toured throughout Europe and Asia, working on several of Ellen Stewart’s original pieces and performing in the Andrei Serban/Elizabeth Swados’ epic Fragments of a Greek Trilogy. Regional credits include The American Repertory Theatre, The New Rep, and ImprovBoston. He has been a guest artist and lecturer at Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, Marquette University, Marymount Manhattan College, Hebrew Union College, and Boston College.
Alex Randrup is a director and producer based in NYC. This past year she was a Resident Director with Rebel Theater Company, a Resident of Barn Arts Collective's Hamilton Project, and a Participant of Directors Lab North. Alex has developed new plays with Target Margin Theater, The Dirty Blondes, Theater for the New City, Naked Angels & The New School, and Brain Melt Consortium. She is also the co-founder/curator of the ongoing performance series "Family Meal" at Under St. Marks. alexrandrup.com
Kelly Johnston (Director). International credits: Bermuda (Daylseford Theater). Regional credits include: Alley Theatre (Houston, TX), GeVa Theatre (Rochester, NY), West Coast Ensemble (Los Angeles, CA), Laguna Beach Playhouse (Laguna Beach, CA), Virginia Arts Festival (Norfolk, VA). Former Artistic Director of Arizona Shakespeare Festival and Sirius Theatre (Los Angeles). New York credits include The Secret Theater, Emerging Artists Theatre, The Gallery Players, Fringe NYC, NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, United Solo Festival, the Drama League, and The Workshop Theater.
Magis Theatre Company is a process-based, actor-driven company. Its members have been training together for over ten years. The company combines craft with education and performance, taking on theatrical pieces that most other companies shy away from. Magis brings original work, classical texts, and forgotten literary gems to the classroom and the stage with a uniquely innovative and epic approach recognized by the press for our artistic skill and daring.
La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. The organization has a worldwide reputation for producing daring performance works that defy form and transcend barriers of ethnic and cultural identity. Founded in 1961 by award-winning theatre pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists from more than 70 nations. A recipient of more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has helped launch the careers of countless artists, many of whom have made important contributions to American and international arts millieus. La MaMa’s 55th season celebrates the creative and collective histories of La MaMa’s local and global communities. Since its beginning, La MaMa has forged creative partnerships with artists based in different parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. In recent years, these long-term relationships have taken on new life through distance collaborations over the Internet. The 55th season embraces new pathways forged in performance and technology to connect the myriad experiences, politics, conflicts, aesthetics, intimacies and dreams of people and communities participating in an increasingly globalized world.
CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS is presented with the support of The Consulate General of Spain and The Cervantes Institute.
CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS runs February 10 – 26, 2017 at The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa. It is located at 66 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery – closest train is the F at Second Avenue. Performances run Thursday - Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 4pm with an added performance on Monday, February 13 at 7pm. Tickets are $18 general admission or $13 for students and seniors. La MaMa also has a 10 for $10 program with ten $10 tickets available for every performance (advance purchase only). Tickets may be purchased at the door one hour prior to curtain. To purchase tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.lamama.org.