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Theatre Arts Presents “Life is a Dream” November 13-23 at Staller Center

Life is a dream
Photo by Andrea Z. Breslin

Stony Brook’s Department of Theatre Arts explores a new direction of performance in its upcoming production of “Life is a Dream.” Opening Thursday, November 13, in Theatre Two at Staller Center, this edgy interpretation of Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s classic, co-directed by Margarita Espada and Phillip Baldwin, immerses the audience in the mind of the performer.

This adaptation combines Espada’s extensive practice in movement theatre with Baldwin’s experience in multimedia and digital technology to develop an entirely fresh approach to the 17th-century play. Directors, performers and designers work together to craft a stunning visual experience.

“The origin of the drama perhaps goes back to the parable of Zhuangzi wondering if he was a man who dreamt of being a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming of being a man,” said Baldwin.

Through the use of cutting-edge interactive and virtual reality technologies such as the Oculus Rift and Kinect, the collaborative team will explore rarely seen potentials of modern theatre, giving life to the experience of “the dream,” the foundation of Calderón de la Barca’s original work.

“The play challenges narratives of power by exploring how illusion becomes reality in a world bombarded by media images,” said Espada. The audience is immersed in a spectacular world of performance where they enter “the dream,” evoked by an ethereal set, roaming performers and otherworldly projections. While theatre-goers are invited to sit in unconventional bleacher seating, traditional seating will be available for those with disabilities.

The production runs November 13 through November 23, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm in Theatre Two at Staller Center for the Arts. General admission tickets are $20; tickets for students with ID are $10. Please contact the Staller Center Box Office at (631) 632-ARTS for more information regarding tickets.

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