The play is considered one of the greatest works of the Spanish Golden Age that included Cervantes and Lope de Vega.
The English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote that "Calderón excels all modern dramatists with the exception of Shakespeare, whom he resembles in the depth of thought and subtlety of his writings."
The Spanish Embassy's Arts & Culture section describes the play as "packed with sword fights, love scenes, comic interludes, and poetry to rival Shakespeare."
Here's its plot: "When a prophecy toys with the freedom of a Polish Prince, and a Princess takes on a disguise to find her true love, they begin to question the nature of reality itself."
Pedro Calderón de la Barca's "La Vida es Sueño" ("Life Is A Dream") is translated by Helen Edmundson, a British playwright ("The Clearing") known also for her adaptations of literary classics for the stage.
"Life Is A Dream" will be discussed by director Heagerty; dramaturg Drew Lichtenberg, literary associate at the Shakespeare Theatre Co., who has been a dramaturg at the Public Theater's Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, among other prestigious theaters; and Rick Davis, Executive Director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center and Professor of Theater at George Mason University in suburban Virginia. His translations of Calderón de la Barca have been performed in professional and academic settings and are published as "Calderón de la Barca: Four Great Plays of the Golden Age."
Tickets are $10 for the reading, discussion, and reception of tapas and Spanish wines at the elegant former residence of Ambassadors of Spain.
For more info and tickets: "Life Is A Dream" staged reading of Calderón play, discussion, and reception, June 2, 6:15 P.M., former residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Tickets. Spanish Embassy's Arts & Culture section, www.spainculture.us. Shakespeare Theatre Company, www.shakespearetheatre.org.