CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS

Little-known 1677 drama by Spanish master playwright gets rare staging alongside famous 1635 original.
February 10 - 26 at La MaMa

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La MaMa ETC in association with Magis Theatre Company will present CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS, a repertory performance of two classic works by Pedro Calderon de la Barca.  Directed by George Drance, Alex Randrup and Kelly Johnston, performances of these two works in rep begin February 10 at The Ellen Stewart Theater at La Mama.

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 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 in repertoire for the first time ever in the US gives audiences an opportunity to consider these timely themes in conversation with each other, making CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS a unique event that is sure to stimulate thought and dialogue.

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.

CALDERON'S TWO DREAMS runs February 10 - 26. The Ellen Stewart Theater at La Mama is located at 66 East 4th St, between Second Avenue and the Bowery – closest train is the F to Second Avenue. Tickets are $18, $13 students and seniors. La MaMa also has a 10 for $10 program with ten $10 tickets available (advance purchase only) for every performance. To purchase tickets, call 646-430-5374 or visit www.lamama.org.