Spanish Masterpiece ‘Life Is a Dream’ Reads at Former Embassy Residence

Gabrielle Jakobi, Karen Rosnizeck and Ina Rosnizeck

Once you believe that life is a dream, how do you live?  Pretty well if you’re shacking up a the Former Residence of the Embassy of Spain!  And profoundly if you’re living in the philosophical masterpiece that came to life there Monday night.

Gavin Witt, Kristina Szilagyi and Catherine Rodriguez

SPAIN arts & culture and the Shakespeare Theatre Company invited Washingtonians to an open house of the Former Residence and a staged reading of ‘Life is a Dream’ (La vida es sueño).  The play, written in Spanish in 1635 by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, had been newly translated by Helen Edmundson for this special presentation, and directed by Gus Heagerty in a one-night-only staged reading by some of Washington’s finest actors.

Following the cultural organization’s successful series New Plays from Spain, Monday night’s event continued a a collaboration with US theatre companies, and featured such stage greats as Kevin McGuire, Tara Giorana, Brad Makarowski, Ellen Adair, Patrick Vaill, John Keabler, Derrick Lee Weeden and William Landsman.

Packed with swordfights, love scenes, comic interludes, and poetry to rival Shakespeare, attendees were entertained by a play that critics consider one of the greatest works of the Spanish Golden Age.

*Lead image: Gus Heagerty, Rhett Henckel and Nicole Brydson