Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cast In Reading of LIFE IS A DREAM, Set For August 23rd

The Hunger and Thirst Theatre Collective is keeping me busy these days, as I have been cast in another informal reading, this one set for August 23rd. This time it's Pedro Calderón de la Barca's LIFE IS A DREAM. Focusing on Segismundo, Prince of Poland, the central argument is the conflict between free will and fate. The play remains one of Calderón's best-known and most studied works. I will be performing the role of King Basilio in the reading.

Here is a synopsis for the play:

The King of Poland has kept his son Sigismund secretly imprisoned since birth because an oracle prophesied that the prince would bring disaster to the country. Telling his subjects that the boy died soon after childbirth, he manages to keep his son hidden until he has grown to be a man. When Sigismund reaches maturity, the King wishes to reveal his son at last, restoring the Prince as rightful heir to the throne. The King brings Sigismund to court and tells him about his Princely heritage. This discovery makes him violent, however, and he rages, killing a servant, attempting to rape a woman, and injuring the King's advisor. Horrified and certain of the truthfulness of the prophecy, the King has Sigismund drugged and returned to his tower prison. Upon waking he mourns, believing the previous day's events had been nothing more than a dream. Though he remains oblivious in his cell, the people have discovered Sigismund's plight and break him out of prison. Though Sigismund rejoices, he cannot be sure whether this new development is, in fact, reality or still just a dream. The rebels persist, though, and Sigismund raises an army of the people. Together they defeat the king, but Sigismund cannot take his father's life. Moved at this gesture, the King proclaims Sigismund heir to his throne. As ruler, he resolves to live by the motto that "God is God," acknowledging that one must strive for goodness whether he is asleep or awake.

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