Performances run July 8-August 2 at the solar-powered Bruns Amphitheater
Tickets on sale now; call 510.548.9666 or visit

Berkeley, CA –California Shakespeare Theater continues its 2015 season with Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Nilo Cruz’s powerfully-penned adaptation of Life Is a Dream, Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s epic tale of love, power, and destiny, Life Is a Dream. Directed by Magic Theatre’s Artistic Director Loretta Greco in her Cal Shakes debut, Life Is a Dream plays at the Bruns Amphitheater from July 8 through August 2.

“I am beyond thrilled to have Nilo Cruz’s exceptional adaptation of Calderón’s classic tale of a man who defies his fate to make a new destiny for himself, his family and his country, on our stage,” says Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone. “Nilo writes with such urgency, passion, wit, and poetic beauty that the words soar off the page. Add to this the great joy of having the masterful Loretta Greco bring this play to wildly imaginative life, and I could not be prouder to share this theatrical experience with everyone.”

The cast of Life Is a Dream is a blend of familiar faces and ones that are brand-new to the Cal Shakes stage. Sean San José, last seen at the Bruns as the title character in 2013’s American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, plays the prince, Segismundo, and Tristan Cunningham, whose Cal Shakes credits include last season’s The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, plays the princess, Estrella. Others in the cast include Cal Shakes veteran Julian López-Morillas, who last appeared at Cal Shakes in 2009’s Romeo and Juliet, as Segismundo’s tutor, Clotaldo; Drama Desk award-nominee Sarah Nina Hayon, most recently seen in Magic Theatre’s Golden State , as revenge-bent Rosaura; Adrian Roberts, who played Claudius in 2012’s Hamlet, as Segismundo’s father, Basilio; Jomar Tagatac, who has worked throughout the Bay Area including Jonathan Moscone’s production The Happy Ones (Magic) as Clarin; Amir Abdullah, actor and playwright, who has appeared with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Pennsylvania Centre Stage, among others, as the heir to the throne, Astolfo; and Jason Kapoor, last seen in SF Playhouse’s Ideation, as the Soldier. Mr. Abdullah, Ms. Hayon, Mr. Tagatac, Mr. Abdullah, and Mr. Kapoor are making their Cal Shakes’ debuts with this production.

The creative team for Life Is a Dream includes set designer Drew Boyce, a New York-based designer working in a variety of disciplines on projects ranging from theater, opera and live events, to film and commercial spaces; costume designer Alex Jaeger, whose work has been seen at A.C.T., Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theater, and The Public Theater, to name a few; lighting designer Chris Akerlind, designer of more than 650 productions for theater and opera in the U.S. and around the world, and whose work on Light in the Piazza earned him numerous awards, including the Tony; sound designer Cliff Caruthers, who designed Cal Shakes’ Tempest (2012), The Seagull, and Twelfth Night (2001), and has provided haunting soundscapes at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, and A.C.T., among others. Movement for Life Is a Dream will be created by Erika Chong Shuch, who devised movement for Cal Shakes’ productions of The Tempest (2012) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014).

Loretta Greco (Director) is in her seventh season as Magic’s Producing Artistic Director where she is proud to have produced a body of work for Taylor Mac, Lloyd Suh, Luis Alfaro, Theresa Rebeck, Linda McLean, Octavio Solis, Sharr White, John Kolvenbach, and numerous others. Her selected directing credits while at Magic include:Buried Child,Se Llama Cristina, The Other Place, Bruja,Annapurna,Or,Oedipus el Rey,Goldfish, andMauritius. Ms. Greco’s New York premieres include: Tracey Scott Wilson’sThe Story, the Obie Award-winningLackawanna Bluesby Ruben Santiago Hudson, and Nilo Cruz’sTwo Sisters and a Pianoat The Public Theater; Katherine Walat’sVictoria Martin Math Team Queen, Karen Hartman’sGum, Toni Press Coffman’sTouch, and Rinne Groff’sInkyat Women’s Project; Emily Mann’sMeshugahat Naked Angels; Laura Cahill’sMercyat The Vineyard Theatre and Nilo Cruz’sA Park in Our Houseat New York Theatre Workshop. Additional regional credits include the critically-acclaimed revival of David Mamet’sSpeed-the-Plowand the West Coast premiere of David Harrower’sBlackbirdat American Conservatory Theater;Romeo and JulietandStop Kissat Oregon Shakespeare Festival as well as productions at La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, McCarter Theatre Center,Long Wharf Theatre, Studio Theater, Intiman Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of St Louis, Arena Stage, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Playmakers Repertory Company, and The Cleveland Play House. She directed the national tour ofEmily Mann’sHaving Our Sayas well as the international premiere at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ms. Greco has developed work with dozens of writers at Sundance, The O’Neill, South Coast Rep, The Mark Taper Forum, New Harmony, New York Stage and Film, The Cherry Lane, New Dramatists, Cape Cod Theatre Project, and The Public. Prior to her Magic post, she served as Producing Artistic Director of New York’s Women’s Project and as The Associate Director/Resident Producer at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton where she conceived and launched their Second Stage-On-Stage Initiative and commissioned work from Doug Wright, Nilo Cruz, and Joyce Carol Oates, among others. Ms. Greco received her MFA from Catholic University, her BA from Loyola University, New Orleans. She is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect and the recipient of two Drama League Fellowships and a Princess Grace Award.

Pedro Calderón de la Barca (Playwright) was a Spanish dramatist and poet, born in Madrid on January 17, 1600, and educated at the Jesuit College in Madrid with a view to taking orders; temporarily abandoning this path, he studied law at Salamanca, and served with the Spanish army. A volume of his plays, edited by his brother José in 1636, contains such celebrated and diverse productions as La Vida es sueño, El Purgatorio de San Patricia, La Devoción de la cruz, La Dama duende, and Peor está que estaba; he was knighted by Philip IV and in 1636 and provided spectacular plays for the royal court. He retired from the army in November 1642 and joined the priesthood in 1651. His subsequent plays were autos sacramentales—allegorical pieces in which the mystery of the Eucharist was illustrated dramatically—two of which were the subject of inquiry by the Inquisition. Calderón was appointed honorary chaplain to Philip IV in 1663; in his eighty-first year he wrote his last secular play, Hado y Divisa de Leonido y Marfisa, in honour of Charles II's marriage to Marie-Louise de Bourbon. He died on May 25, 1681.

Nilo Cruz (Translator and Adaptor) is best known for his play Anna in the Tropics, which won the Steinberg award, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and received a Tony nomination. His other plays include Dancing on Her Knees, Night Train to Bolina, A Park in Our House, Two Sisters and a Piano, Beauty of the Father, and Lorca in a Green Dress, among others. Cruz has translated Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, Doña Rosita the Spinster; and Jose Sanchez Sinisterra’s Ay Carmela. He also adapted Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings for the stage. Mr. Cruz has been the recipient of other awards and fellowships, including two NEA/TCG National Theatre Artist Residency grants, a Rockefeller Foundation grant and the San Francisco’s W. Alton Jones award. In 2009 he won The Laura Pels Mid-career Playwrighting award and a Helen Merrill award for Excellence in playwriting. He also received the USA Ella Fontanals-Cisneros award. He has taught playwriting at Brown, NYU Gallatin School, Yale School of Drama, and the University of Iowa. He recently co-wrote the screenplay Castro’s Daughter with Oscar winner Bobby Moresco and adapted Ann Patchet’s Bel Canto into an opera for the Lyric Opera in Chicago. This year he was awarded the Greenfield Prize and will be an artist-in-residence at the Hermitage in Sarasota.

Prince Segismundo has been locked up all his life by his father, King Basilio, because of an early omen that he’d grow up to be a monster. The king finally allows his son to see the light of day, but not for long: the young man goes on a rampage and ultimately battles his father for power. Meanwhile, a young woman, Rosaura comes dressed as a man to avenge her honor for being spurned by her lover, Astolfo, who abandoned her for his own ambition. Worlds and families collide as the play culminates in an epic battle that leads to forgiveness and the waking from a dream where ‘happily-ever-after’ assumes the seat of rightful power.

Single tickets forLife Is a Dream range from $20 to $72, with discounts available for seniors, students, military families, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Prices, dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing are available

California Shakespeare Theater’s 2015 season is supported in part by the generosity of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation; corporate partners include BART, City National Bank, John Muir Health, Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa, Meyer Sound, and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

About Cal Shakes
Cal Shakes celebrates its 41th anniversary inspired by an expansive vision of the role theater can and should play in society, as expressed in our mission statement:With Shakespeare’s depth of humanity as our touchstone, we build character and community through authentic, inclusive, and joyful theater experiences.

Founded in 1974 and under the leadership of Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone since 2000, our Main Stage productions have earned a reputation for their bold artistic vision and vivid story-telling. We give artists full range to bring their own life experience to the stories we tell on our stage—to take risks while remaining authentic to the story being told. Our season runs from May to October, attracting 43,000 Bay Area theater-goers to our outdoor, solar-powered, Bruns Memorial Amphitheater—described by theWall Street Journalas, “One of the most beautiful outdoor performance spaces in America.” Through the Triangle Lab, we aim to integrate art more deeply into community life—to make theater matter more to more people. Our Artistic Learning programs reach 5,000 students annually, engaging students in classrooms and at our Theater in on-your-feet activities that bring a text to life, while also practicing skills that are crucial in today’s economy. For more information on the entirety of Cal Shakes work on stage, in schools, and with communities, go


WHAT California Shakespeare Theater’s production ofLife Is a Dream

WHO ByPedro Calderón de la Barca
Translated and Adapted by Nilo Cruz
Directed by Loretta Greco

Designed by Drew Boyce (set designer), Alex Jaeger(costume designer), Chris Akerlind(lighting designer), and Cliff Caruthers (sound designer).

Featuring: Sean San José (Segismundo); Tristan Cunningham (Estrella); Julian López-Morillas (Clotaldo); Adrian Roberts (Basilio); Amir Abdullah (Astolfo); Sarah Nina Hayon (Rosaura); Jomar Tagatac (Clarin); and Jason Kapoor (Soldier).

WHEN July 8 to August 2, 2015
Previews July 8, 9, and 10 at 8pm
Press Opening July 11 at 8pm
Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Saturday Matinee August 1 at 2pm
Sunday Matinees at 4pm
Grounds open two hours prior to show time for picnicking.

WHERE Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda, CA 94563
(just off Highway 24 at the California Shakespeare Theater Way/Wilder Rd. exit, one mile east of the Caldecott Tunnel.)
Complimentary shuttle from Orinda BART beginning 2 hours before curtain.
Complimentary parking onsite.

TICKETS Single tickets range from $20 to $72, with discounts available for seniors, students, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Cal Shakes makes twenty tickets available for $20 on a first-come, first-served basis for every performance throughout the season. Call Cal Shakes’ Box Office at 510.548.9666 between noon and 2pm to purchase. Prices subject to change.

All tickets are available through the California Shakespeare Theater Box Office, 701 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley CA, 510.548.9666, online, or at the Bruns box office on the day of the performance (pending availability).

GROUPS Groups of 10 or more save $10 off the adult single ticket price; complimentary ticket available for groups of 15+. For more information, call 510.809.3290.


Community Announcements