A contemporary one-act inspired by Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s play Life is a Dream, performed in Spanish.

A collaboration between the UCF School of Performing Arts and the Department of Modern Languages, based on the play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. This play will be performed in Spanish.

A contemporary one act inspired by Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s play Life is a Dream, in which a prince, imprisoned by his father after receiving a fateful prophecy, struggles with the differences between reality and illusion, instinct and wisdom, destiny and free will. This project aims to bring a contemporary sensibility to a classical Spanish play. Life is a Dream explores the transitory nature of life and presents reality as constantly transforming and, occasionally, indistinguishable from a dream.


Director – Joseph D’Ambrosi
Advisors – Julia Listengarten and Martha García
Producer – Julia Listengarten
Textual Adaptation – Martha García
Music Director – Nora Lee García
Stage Manager – Savanna Shurman
Scenic Designer – Alyx Jacobson
Projection Designer – Alex Anderson
Costume Designer – Olivia Hayhoe
Props – Alyssa Marinello
Scenic Advisor – Vandy Wood


Rosaura – Ximena Gonzalez
Clarín – Victor Vazquez
Segismundo – Pablo Lorenzo
Clotaldo – Alberto Martinez
Astolfo – Nicole Acosta
Estrella – Madeline Regier
Basilio – Aixa Mendez
Guards – Fabiola Brenes, Max Loew, Francesca Miani, Hayley Strubbe


Nora Lee García, conductor
Thomas Swanson
Christopher Ludvieg
Ana Garcia Maunez
Jolene Crossman
Salvatore Parillo
Sara Nazarian
Alondra Bahls
Colin Jackson
Rachel Madden

This performance contains brief moments of violence.


In the mountains of Northern Europe, a young woman clad in men’s clothing, Rosaura, and her companion, Clarín, stumble upon a tower. Inside, they find a prisoner, Segismundo, who explains that he has been imprisoned since his birth. Clotaldo, Segismundo’s jailor, arrives and arrests Rosaura and Clarín for intruding. However, he recognizes Rosaura’s sword as his own and suspects that Rosaura is his child (he still thinks she is male). Clotaldo takes the intruders to the king who will decide their fate.

Meanwhile, in the palace, Prince Astolfo and Princess Estrella plan to marry each other to ensure their place on the throne. However, Estrella is concerned that Astolfo loves another woman as he keeps a locket around his neck. During their conversation, King Basilio enters and informs his kingdom that he imprisoned his infant son, Segismundo, to a tower when a prophecy told him that he would be a barbarian. Basilio decides to give Segismundo a chance to rule the kingdom but if he proves that the prophecy is correct, he will send his son back to the tower. Clotaldo enters the palace with Rosaura and Clarín and the king pardons them. Rosaura reveals to Clotaldo that she is a woman and is here to kill Astolfo and avenge the honor that he has taken from her in the past.

With orders from Basilio, Clotaldo drugs Segismundo and brings him to the palace. When Segismundo wakes up from his slumber, he is disoriented and overwhelmed by his change of fate. After a series of brutish acts, Basilio reminds Segismundo that if he is not good, he may one day wake up back in the tower. Meanwhile, Estrella refuses to marry Astolfo unless he gives her the locket around his neck. When Rosaura enters, Astolfo tries to woo her and Estrella catches them in an embrace. Convincing Estrella that the locket is hers, Rosaura successfully protects her identity and leaves Astolfo scrambling to figure out a way to appease Estrella.

The King orders Clotaldo to drug Segismundo and put him back in his tower as a result of his negative behavior. Convinced that his experience in the palace was a dream, Segismundo reevaluates what it means to be good and recognizes that, any moment, life could be a dream. Two revolutionaries unhappy with the Basilio’s decision to imprison Segismundo, the rightful heir to the throne, reveal the king’s plan and convince the prince to leave the tower, kill his father, and take over the kingdom.

At the battle field, Basilio surrenders to his son who, in turn, pardons his father and decides to live doing good. Segismundo convinces Astolfo to right his wrongs and marry Rosaura. So that Estrella is not left without a partner, Segismundo proposes to her. At the end of the play, Segismundo reminds the audience that we never know when life can be taken away from us or if we are dreaming. Nevertheless, we should always choose goodness over evil.