“Life is a Dream” opens at VPAC

Alexandra Riggle

CSUN’s theater department is resurrecting a centuries-old classic, “Life is a Dream,” the thought-provoking Spanish language play written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca in the mid-1600’s.

“The play is philosophical, contemplating both reality and morality,” said Larry Biederman, the play’s director.

Though originally published in the 17th century, Biederman has modernized and simplified the play’s setting.

“We’ve created something of a dreamscape, with contemporary lights, scenery, and sound and aggressive rhythms,” Biederman said.

Biederman believes the play is culturally important and maintains its relevance in modern times.

“Spanish plays don’t particularly get their due,” he said. “60 percent of my cast is Latino,” adding that the play is an important part of Hispanic heritage.

With a new script version translated by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Nilo Cruz, “Life is a Dream” has garnered the attention and praise of several reviewers, including Variety and the Press Telegram.

“Dreams are not the point—not of the play, nor of our production, though it is indeed conceived as a dream. The relevant point is actually about reality—and our inability to ever really know what that is,” wrote Biederman in his Director’s Note about the production.

“Life is a Dream” opens Friday, Feb. 17 at the Experimental Theatre of the Valley Performing Arts Center complex, and runs from Feb. 17 – 19 and Feb. 22 – 26.
All shows begin at 7:30 p.m., except the Sunday matinee, which begins at 2 p.m..

Tickets prices are as follows: General admission, $20, students, $15, seniors, $17, and faculty, $16.  Students who purchase tickets on or before today are eligible for the early bird discounted rate of $9.

Tickets are available for purchase over the phone at the University Student Union box office by calling 818-677-2488.

Parking and other information can be found online here.