By Octavio Solis
Directed by Craig Baldwin, Artistic Associate, Shakespeare Theatre Company
When a young Mexican woman and her brother cross the Rio Grande to find their father, they instead encounter a young man who has grown up alone, imprisoned on an island. Soon, all are thrust into a world where dream and reality are inseparable. Inspired by Calderón’s Life is a Dream, the bones of the Spanish Golden Age classic remain, but the Rio Grande looms large both as myth and metaphor in Solis’s modern retelling.
Written for Dallas Theater Center during the George W. Bush era, Dreamlandia’s observations about Mexican-American relations, immigration and capitalism have only become more prescient. With aspects of magic realism that connect to Latinx culture and history, Solis’s piece dives into the borderlands between seductive illusion and crushing reality.
The ReDiscovery Series introduces audiences to new adaptations and great but lesser-known classic plays under consideration for STC’s mainstage seasons. Written by notable playwrights and performed by some of D.C.’s most talented actors, these one-night-only readings are often the first step in bringing a new adaptation or an under-produced classic back into the spotlight worldwide. Every ReDiscovery reading concludes with a post-show panel featuring artists, scholars and esteemed community members.