Broad Street Review: EgoPo Classic Theater presents Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life Is a Dream

"Written around 1636 during Spain’s Golden Age, Life is a Dream is a play about a prince who has spent his life imprisoned by his father the king because of a prophecy about the son’s power. Now, a brisk and timely new adaptation by Brenna Geffers and Felipe Vergara, onstage at EgoPo, highlights the danger of venal politicians. Geffers (who also directs) and Vergara have streamlined the play, excising a romantic subplot, and activated the citizens of Poland, who were mostly background figures in the original.


Though set in “a Poland that we could call anywhere else,”Geffers has assembled a multi-talented and tight-knit ensemble of performers who in addition to their acting roles sing the show’s haunting songs and execute Hassan Syed’s bracing choreography.

Keith Conallen is booming, glib, and arrogant as the king, both repellant and charismatic. Vanessa Sterling brings an unpredictable wild energy to Segismundo as he embraces his new power, as well as a desperate, raw rage when he processes his years of trauma. Kishia Nixon stands out among the chorus, emerging as the voice of common sense and integrity who demands justice and accountability.


In Geffers and Vergara’s Life is a Dream, hope lies in the people taking back that power." - Kirsten Bowen, Broad Street Review.

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