Live is a Dream

Directed by Stuart Carden

March, 2005

           Calderón and Lope de Vega are celebrated as the two greatest Spanish Golden Age playwrights. “The tale of a young prince locked away since birth, because foreboding astrological signs and the death of the boy’s mother convinced the father that the boy would bring ruin upon the kingdom, La Vida es Sueño (Life is a Dream)  is a philosophical play that explores several themes. The divine right of kings, the nature of reason and passion in human existence, the role of divine providence and chance in human affairs, and the ever-present concept of honor are all part of this complex drama.  When the prince, Segismundo, is brought out of the prison, his father decides to allow him to rule for one day to see if he is capable.  Segismundo’s early responses are all passionate—he insults women and kills men—but as the play progresses he develops his use of reason and prudence to become, at the end, a perfect prince.” A Cultural History of Theatre by Watson & McKernie.

Scene from "Life is a Dream"


Rosaura ...Sharma Dardai
Clarin ... Martha Velazco
Segismundo ... Jamie Kolacki
Clotaldo... Patrick Garone
Basilio ... Christopher Leonard
Astolfo... Joseph Cirafici
Estrella ... Stephanie Tichenor
Basilio's Confidant ... Loki D. Wolf
Revolutionary/Servant... Eric Lopez
Revolutionary/Servant ... Alexis Salgado
Jamie Kolacki (Segismundo) 
and Shama Dardai (Rosaura)

Production Staff
Producer…………………….Rodney Higginbotham
Director…………………………..……. Stuart Carden
Set Design……………………………….Robert G. Smith
Costume Design……………………..Nicole Burchfield
Lighting Design………………………..John Rodriguez
Sound Designer………………………Tom Dawson
Stage Manager…………………………….Stan Thomas
Box Office Manager……………………..Eric Steier
Light Board Operator…………………..Kim Thompsom
Sound Board Operator………………….Leroy Manuel
Playbill Designer Editor………..………David Ropinski

PROFILES (Cast)_________________________

Joseph Cirafici
Joseph Cirafici
(Astolfo) originally from Chicago, has returned here after receiving a B.A. in theatre from the University of South Florida in December 2004. He is excited to start his journey in Chicago with such a great cast and director.

Shama Dardai
Shama Dardai
(Rosaura) is an education major in her second semester at NElU. She has been seen as Lady Muldoon in Stage Center's fall production of The Real Inspector Hound, Poinsettia Jackson in A Red Death and on the corner of Kimball and Bryn Mawr cursing at cabs that will not stop for her. She is pleased to be a part of Life is a Dream and would like to thank the cast, director and audience for their time and support. She (also) finds speaking in the third person to be rather annoying.

Patrick Garone
Patrick Garone
(Clotaldo) is a communication major and this is his third production at NEIU. He was seen last semester in A Red Death and The Real Inspector Hound. Patrick is also a writer/performer for the sketch troupe Salsation! And has been seen around the country in their touring review. He would like to thank Stuart and the cast for making this such a fun and educational experience.

Alexis S. Ginay
Alexis S. Ginay
(Revolutionary/Servant/Guard) most recently appeared in last fall's Studio Series A Red Death. He makes his mainstage debut with Life is a Dream. Other credits include Midsummer Nights  Dream and Bullshot Crummond with ISO. Mr. Salgado Ginay can also be seen in both upcoming mainstage productions Simply Maria and Don Perlimplin. He will also be performing in the dance concert with the jazz and ballet ensemble this March 18th and 19th here at NEIU. Mr. S. Ginay would like to thank the director and cast for the great experience.

Jamie Kolacki (Segismundo) is excited to be performing with such a talented cast and crew. In his first year at NEIU this is his first performance in over a year. Acting since the age of six, he was most recently seen in Little House on the Parody at the Theatre Building. Other credits include Kenny in Fuddy Meers, Arty in Lost in Yonkers, has appeared in Are You Afraid of the Dark, and as Stan in To Sir With Love II for CBS. Jamie would like to thank his friends and family for all their support.
Christopher Leonard
Christopher Leonard
(Basilio) Life is a Dream is Christopher's second production at the Stage Center Theatre, having appeared in last Fall's The Real Inspector Hound. Christopher has appeared in many productions with Purdue University and the University of Central Florida, where he received his B.A. in Performance. Currently working on his M.A. in Linguistics, Chris is especially interested in working with dialects and accents.

Eric Lopez
Cyn a.k.a. Eric Lopez
(Revolutionary/Servant/Guard) has been holding down the block since 1983. In 1998 he began serving thespians at his high school where he laid down phat beats in the pit orchestra for several play productions. Cyn is currently writing, composing, and choreographing a rap opera entitled Melle Mel You Rap Swell. In addition to busting up the theater, Cyn can school you on drums, guitar, and one mean triangle. His musical endeavors have led him to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and at Disney World.  Eric hopes you enjoy the play you are about to see as much as he enjoys barbecue tofu. He would like to thank his family, his crew goawaykids, pollito, needle$$, and the makers of Sweet baby Ray's, you know who you are. The sauce is BOSS!
Stephanie Tichenor
Stephanie Tichenor
(Estrella), a true southern belle, is originally from New Orleans. She is a junior communication major here at NEIU. She was last seen on stage in Stage Center's production of The Real Inspector Hound. She is thrilled to be working with such a giving, talented, not to mention incredibly good looking cast and crew, She would like to thank her friends, family and monkey for their constant love and support.

Martha Velazco
Martha Velazco
(Clarin) is a senior at NEIU majoring in communication and minoring in mass media. This is her second play, her first being Isaac, I am. She is overjoyed to be a part of this wonderful cast.

Loki D. Wolf
Loki D. Wolf
(Physician/Revolutionary) born on Chicago's south side, Loki has studied at Columbia College as well as Saranto's Studios in Chicago. He has experience in theater as well as independent films. He has also appeared in many independent showcases, and dabbled with the improv world doing a number of murder mysteries. At 34 he aspires to be a part of major films as well as great theatre productions.

Additional pictures from the collection by David Ropinski
PROFILES (Production Staff)_________________________

Stuart Carden
(Director) joins NEIU for the third time with this production, previously directing last year's The Game of Love and Chance and 2003's The Good Doctor. Recent credits include the regional premiere of Tristine Skyler's The Moonlight Room at City Theatre, Big Love with The No Name Players (nominated top ten plays of 2005, Pittsburgh) and Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre's award winning Stones in his Pockets. Other productions in Chicago, Pittsburgh, NYC and abroad include Private Eyes, Spring Awakening, A Streetcar Named Desire, Miss Julie, Diary of a Madman, the world premiere of Richard Dresser's What Are You Afraid Of? in ATL's Humana Festival, and Edward Albee's The Zoo Story at the Mossoviet Theatre, Moscow. Stuart holds an M.F.A. in directing from Carnegie Mellon University where he teaches in their summer Pre-College program. He is an Artistic Associate with Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre and the newly formed Classic Stage Chicago.

Robert G. Smith (Scenic Design) is the resident designer in Northeastern's Department of Communication, Media and Theatre where he has been designing scenery and lighting since 1984. In Chicago professional theater he is an ensemble member at Famous Door Theatre and Stage Left Theatre, is Vice President of the Board of Directors of A Red Orchid Theatre and is a founding member of Plasticene. He has also designed for Steppenwolf, Northlight, The Next Theatre, The Organic Theater, Apple Tree Theatre, The Second City, The Apollo Remy-Bumppo and dozens of other Off Loop theaters. Elsewhere he has designed productions in New York (Off Broadway), London (West End), Edinburgh, Dublin, Los Angeles, Jerusalem and Singapore. His design for the television series The Straight Dope was seen across the nation on the A&E cable network. He has been nominated nine times and has received seven Joseph Jefferson Citations as well as three After Dark Awards and an Emmy nomination.

Nicole Rene Burchfield (Costume Designer) is more than delighted to be back for her fourth show here at NEIU. Previous NEIU designs include Buried Child, The Game of Love and Chance and The Good Doctor. Some of her Chicago area designs include Arms and The Man at Wheaton College, Meet John Doe and Judgment at Nuremberg with Shattered Globe Theatre Company, Pas des Deeses for the Joffrey Ballet Company, Another Part of the Forest (Jeff Nominated) with Eclipse Theatre Company, and Streeterville, The Crucible (Jeff Nominated), Awake and Sing!, Hauptmann, The Lion in Winter (Jeff Nominated), and most recently This Happy Breed with TimeLine Theatre Company. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Music from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MFA in Design and Technology from Northern Illinois University. Thanks to Ben for his love and patience.

John Rodriguez (Lighting Designer) joined the theatre faculty at Northeastern last year and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as working as a designer on the mainstage shows. Last year he designed the lighting for Little Murders, Lend Me a Tenor, The Game of Love and Chance, and the set and lighting for Ghosts. This past summer John designed the set and lighting for the Stockyard Theatre's production of Duet for One, directed by Lynn Ann Bernatowicz and produced at the Victory Garden's Theatre.

 Return to the Home Page of the Stage Center Theatre

Return to the Scapbook of the Stage Center Theatre