LSM Newswire

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life is a Dream, Scapegoat Carnival, Centaur Theatre's Brave New Looks

In Centaur Theatre Company's Brave New Looks series

Scapegoat Carnivale's

Life is a Dream (La vida es sueo)

Written by Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Translated by Edwin Honig

Directed by Alison Darcy

October 22 November 1, 2008

"Each man dreams the thing he is, for all of life's a dream and dreams themselves are only part of dreaming." Segismundo

Montreal, October 2008 Scapegoat Carnivale is thrilled to present this audacious look at a renaissance classic as part of Centaur Theatre's Brave New Looks initiative. Rarely performed in English, Life is a Dream is an adaptation of Spanish 17th Century Pedro Calderon de la Barca's surprisingly post-modern dramatic comedy about the conflict between fate and free will. This profound and hilarious work, sharply directed by Alison Darcy with assistant director Joseph Shragge, features some of Montreal's most exciting performers, including four live musicians. Crossed lovers, rebels and loyal servants languishing in doubt populate the landscape of this charismatic story.

Poetically written Life is a Dream follows Prince Segismundo, who has been imprisoned since birth in a mountain cavern because of a prediction that he would grow up to become a tyrant. But now the King is getting old, and having no other heir, decides to release the prince, giving him one day of royalty to disprove the prophecy. Faithful to how the play was originally produced in Spain, with a spare set, lavish costumes and live music; this production will highlight the play's multiple realms, contrasting the social world of the court with the barren mountain wilderness.

Director Alison Darcy is enthusiastic about doing this play now; "It's exciting to be tackling the issue of political succession during two major elections in North America." Addressing the parallels between this Spanish classic and today's news, she continues, "By acting out of fear and grief, the King brings about the exact outcome he dreaded. Currently, we see this archetypical theme of the self-fulfilling prophecy internationally- the fear of terrorism has created the suspension of civil liberties, war and new refugee populations." Darcy is thrilled about Calderon's work, "I love theatre that plays with the idea of different realities, because just seeing a play to begin with is an encounter with an unreal world which is at the same time familiar."

The talented cast is made up of Andreas Apergis as Prince Segismundo and Leni Parker as King Basilio, along with Peter Batakliev, Gemma James-Smith, Julie Tamiko Manning, Julian Casey, Zachary Fraser, Dusan Dukic and Donovan Reiter. Led by musical director David Oppenheim, musicians Paul Gareau, Leon Lo and Aaron Shragge enhance the drama with an original score. The design highlights the work of Sarah Yaffe, whose set and lights create separate realities through lush colours and levels; and Jenna Wright, bringing a high-fashion sensibility to the costumes. Melanie St-Jacques is the stage manager and Bonnie More the assistant stage manager.

About Scapegoat Carnivale

Scapegoat Carnivale is an emerging company dedicated to producing exciting new works based on provocative dramaturgical concepts and approaches that expand the limits of theatre and take the medium in unexpected new directions. Of special interest are plays or texts that mix popular and experimental forms, employ heightened or poetic language and are expressionistic, slightly unsettling or unreal. The company is made up of writers, actors, directors and stage managers whose mission it is to experiment with new methods and collaborate with artists and performers from diverse artistic traditions. Past productions include Last Call, written by Holly O'Brien (winner of the MECCA award for best actor 2006) and The Works, written by Joseph Shragge (first runner up for the Centaur Theatre's Best Production award, 2007 Montreal Fringe Festival). Upcoming productions include Mud by Maria Irene Fornes to be directed by Emma Tibaldo in January 2009 and an original translation/adaptation of Euripides' Medea by Andreas Apergis and Joseph Shragge. Company founders are Andreas Apergis, Alison Darcy, David Oppenheim, Joseph Shragge and Melanie St-Jacques.

Brave New Looks

Now in its fourth year, this exciting undertaking was initiated to provide audiences with the opportunity to discover the diversity, imagination and highly original work of cutting-edge companies and individual "auteurs" as they embark on a new stage in the artistic development of their project.

"There's no safe highway leading past the force of destiny." Clarion

Life is a Dream- nine shows only

At Centaur Theatre

453 St Franois-Xavier, Metro Place D'Armes

Wednesday to Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Matinee: Sunday, October 26 at 1:30 pm

$15 Regular/$10 Students and seniors

Reservations: 514-288-3161

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