School of Theatre and Dance to perform Spanish play ‘Life is a Dream’


Bayan Abuihmoud

Tillius the Paladin, played by Emma Mansfield, a third-year acting major, slaying three monsters in the play “She Kills Monsters,” performed by the NIU School of Theatre and Dance in October. (Bayan Abuihmoud | Northern Star)

By Michael Mollsen, News Editor

DeKALB – “Life is a Dream,” Pedro Calderòn de la Barca’s 17th-century play is coming to NIU’s Sally Stevens Players Theatre in the Stevens Building.

The play is about The King of Poland Basilio and his son Segismundo. The king receives an omen that his son will grow up to be a tyrant. In order to keep the kingdom safe, the king locks his son away and tells the world his son is dead. When the troubles of succession come about, Segismundo is revealed to be alive and is allowed to be king for a day to see if he is a fitful successor. 

The show produced by the NIU School of Theatre and Dance is directed by Stanton Davis, associate professor of theatre and dance.

The show displays the many themes of life, “honor, decency, love, forgiveness, and what constitutes reality itself which are as timeless and relevant now as they ever were,” Davis said in a press release.

Students can expect staged fights, poetry, live music and comedy as well as an array of languages used besides just English including  Spanish, Polish and Russian.

“A paramount concern of ours was finding a translation that captures the poetry but doesn’t reek of old timey patina,” Davis said. “We wanted the script to be accessible both to a modern actor and to the ears of the audience that listens.”

The show will also feature pre and post discussions. The pre and post discussions will allow audiences to have a talkback with the director, cast and designers as well as other scholars who are experienced in the field of Spanish literature.

NIU students are admitted free of charge. Tickets for “Life is a Dream” are $7 for adults and seniors. Visit SOTD’s website for tickets. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and Feb. 17 and 2 p.m. Feb. 18.