Life Is a Dream, Helen Edmundon's New Adaptation of Calderon's Classic Play
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The last date listed for Life Is a Dream was Saturday June 11, 2011 / 7:30pm.
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Award-winning Chicago stage veteran Roslyn Alexander fills the fascinating shoes of fearless activist Emma Goldman in this new solo drama that explores the passions behind the controversial figure's political agitation and the price she was willing to pay for it. A charismatic speaker and organizer, Goldman threatened the turn-of-the-century status quo with her liberal views on social issues and women's rights, but became infamous as an anarchist who advocated free love and who was jailed several times for demonstrating contraceptives, inciting to riot and opposing the draft. Dennis Zacek directs for the ShPIeL Theatre. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Quotes & Highlights
Originally debuting at London’s renowned Donmar Warehouse in 2009, the play was hailed as “a masterpiece” by _T__he Sunday Telegraph_.
“The cast finds moments of majesty. A thoughtful rebuke to our own debased era of poll-driven sound bites and black-and-white instant judgments.” —Chicago Tribune
“Elegant. This straightforward version conveys the original’s unusual brilliance.” –-Time Out Chicago
“The astute and passionate direction of Carlin-Metz launches her cast and audience on a vision quest of heroic proportions. We are completely drawn in. A production well worth your time.” –-ChicagoStageReview
“A show to justify Vitalist Theatre’s well-earned name. Baroque and often beautiful, Vitalist actors are completely in control of this material and make whatever seems literary to live and sing. –-Chicago Theater Blog
“Highly Recommended…a commanding and eloquent performance. The terrific cast delivers the rich text with honesty and heartfelt sincerity. Vitalist Theatre has mounted an artful, eloquent production of a 17th Century classic. —ChicagoCritic
“An enchanting fable…a fascinating contemplation of self-discovery. This production is a powerful wake-up call.” -–Chicago Now
“A fantastic reverie” –-Chicago Reader __ __
Life Is a Dream is one of the most revered plays of the Spanish Golden Age. Its 17th-century themes explode in every contemporary political circumstance where leaders are called upon to sacrifice narrow ambition, relinquish personal gain, and stand instead for social justice. Yet every leader confronts some moment when the temptations of power — wealth, licentiousness, vengeance, fame — collide with the obligation to serve the common good.
Acclaimed British playwright Helen Edmundson’s new version of Life Is a Dream captures the original play’s power with elegant language and characters as fully human and recognizable as Shakespeare’s. Honor, humility, self-awareness, accountability, and dignity are values that define human aspirations the world round, but, as Calderón demonstrates, they are hard-won and fragile: without them, we are beasts. Staged by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz.