Sueño

 
 
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Directed by Kudzai Sevenzo, Sueño is a Obie Award-winning playwright José Rivera’s translation and adaptation of Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s classic La Vida es Sueño (life is a dream). Set in 1635, this metaphysical drama-renowned as one of the jewels of the Spanish Golden Age- Sueño follows the life of young Prince Segismundo, heir to the Spanish throne, who is imprisoned at birth when astrologers predicted his reign as king would result in the country’s ruin. The brilliant, passionate prince is raised in isolation. His only companions are the nobleman Clotaldo and a God whose very existence he questions.

THE PLOT

When Segismundo’s father King Basilio finds his own life ending without a legitimate heir, he releases Segismundo and places him on the throne. If Segismundo is gentle and civilized, Basilio reasons, he will be allowed to reign. If he is as wild and barbaric as the stars predicted he’ll be sent back to his imprisonment and told that his brief moment of freedom and power was only a dream. When the tormented Segismundo demonstrates the worst of the astrologers’ fears and he’s sent back to the tower, he’s forever unable to distinguish between real life and the world of dreams. Sueño is written in sharp contemporary language but it nevertheless seeks to ask the eternal questions posed by Calderon: What is man—an angel or an animal? What is honor? What is freedom? If life is a dream, who is dreaming us? Could God Himself be the greatest dream of all?

CAST & CREW

Segismundo | Musa Nicholas Saruro
King Basilio | Francis Nyakuhwa
Clotaldo | Brighton Ndlovu
Rosaura | Rumbidzo Gunduza
Clarin | Zane E.Lucas
Estrella | Kudzai Sevenzo
Duke Astolfo | Jerulah Muchiuro
Servant, Soldiers | Tonde Hakuna

Director Mentor | Julia Wharton
Operations | Elizabeth Muchemwa
Stage Manager | Prudence Kalipinde
Accounts | Kuda Kanembirira
Production Assistant | Simba Kanembirira
Operations Director | Marylynn Gwatiringa
Publicity | Patience G. Tawengwa

RECEPTION


A NOTE FROM DIRECTOR KUDZAI SEVENZO

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My Directorial Debut

The Almasi Directorship program, has been an exciting journey for me. My first staged reading “Necessary Targets” under Julie Wharton’s directing, was really when it all began. I began to understand the complexity of directing a play, how important it was for actors go through the text in detail. I also learnt from the previous staged readings and from our mentor, the importance of making actors feel a sense of ownership of the production. I realized it is important to always be probing, asking questions while analyzing, researching and allowing actors to find their own interpretations of the various characters while at the same time not losing the essence and intention of the playwright. When Julie asked me if I could direct a play in March, I eagerly took up the challenge. I had a couple months to decide what play I wanted to direct, so I was pretty calm, but as March came closer, I found myself battling with self-doubt and nervousness. Was I ready to switch from actor to directing a play? Would I find a play that I could resonate with? March came quickly, and after going through a few plays that I received from Almasi, I came across ‘Sueño’. I knew instantly that would be the play I would choose as my directorial debut. The play lured me in with its humor, hooked me with its wickedly real power struggles, and haunted me with its big questions. What is honor? What is freedom? Does fate dictate our end, or do we actually have the freedom to determine our own destiny? Is man inherently good or evil? Is life a dream? If so, who is dreaming us?
CONTINUE READING

 

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