• August 24, 2016

CBU Production of Life Is A Dream" Continues This Weekend

Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2014) -- California Baptist University's production of "Life Is a Dream" continues this weekend in Wallace Theatre.

Written by Pedro Calderon de la Barca and adapted by Helen Edmundson, the play tells the story of Segismundo, who has been in prison since birth because of a prophecy. His father, the king, believes his son will grow up to be a tyrant. Segismundo is given his chance at freedom, but will he make the right choices?

"The big question that I like in the play is how can the oppressed be freed without becoming the oppressor?" said Elizabeth Malone, director of the production and assistant professor of theatre.

Malone, who has traveled to the Middle East several times, set the play in a mythical Arabia.

"There's so much war going on and so much fighting and there's this sense of being offended and what we do when we're offended on a really deep level," she said. "If a whole society is tortured or oppressed, how do they ever recover from that? It's more complex than I think we tend to make it. That was why I put it in that setting."

Spenser Deardorff, a senior majoring in theatre and history, plays Segismundo.

"This is the largest and most complex character I have portrayed. He transitions from being a man who easily gives in to anger and violence to one who exemplifies the characteristics of a king," he said. "I think the story of redemption which he goes through is a story which many of us have heard before and relate to on a personal level."

Gabrielle Green, a junior theatre major, plays Rosaura.

"The most challenging part about playing my character was justifying all the different emotions that she has to have," she said. "The audience gets to watch her take this journey as a person from hatred, to revenge, to submission. From a Christian perspective it's definitely a story of redemption and biblical submission.

It isn't just the 21 cast members and those back stage bringing the production to life. Malone also brought in a lot of collaborators. An Iraqi teenager taught a cultural dance; Marius Beltran, a senior music major, composed the music; and ROTC members showed actors how to hold a fake machine gun. The art department also helped, creating three stop-action black silhouette animations, two shadow puppets, cut paper lanterns and three large zoetropes.

"It's really been this big collaborative effort," Malone said. "We're seeing the value of collaborating between departments and making time for that."

Performances continue through Saturday, Nov. 22, with performances each evening at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. General admission tickets are $15, with discounts offered for senior citizens and CBU students, faculty, staff and alumni.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Wallace Theatre box office at 951-343-4319.