Directed by: Manuel Ortiz & Rachel Shuey
Genre / Type of Show: Teather
Duration: 80 Minutes
Audience type: +21
We talk a lot about the “American dream”, but what about the American nightmare? Playwright Manuel Ortiz Ossandon swaps out Segismundo’s tower for Juan’s tiny New York City apartment, his supposed ‘escape’ from Chile and the remnants of Pinochet’s dictatorship, in this loose adaptation of Calderón de la Barca’s “Life is a Dream.” In the one – or many – nightmares in which Juan is living, he must determine if there is anything left of his own personal American dream. How do Juan’s individual dreams intersect with the dreams of his family, of multiple generations, of a whole country? American Dream uses the structure of “Life is a Dream”, where we see Segismundo going through different dreams, much like Dante’s Inferno, descending in a spiral of dream-scenes that make our protagonist face his deepest fears and illusions. In the play, each dream sequence represents a different side of the Latin queer immigrant experience in the United States. While the tone of American Dream reflects the tragedy it is based on, it is contrasted with dark humor that reflects the absurdity of this dreamed reality.
May 9, 2023