Theatre UCF, in collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages, will be presenting a free production on campus that incorporates music and theatre in Spanish.

The Life is a Dream Project, conceived by Martha García from the Department of Modern Languages and Julia Listengarten from the School of Performing Arts, will present a contemporary one-act play inspired by Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life is a Dream. The play features an imprisoned prince's journey as he "struggles with the differences between reality and illusion, instinct and wisdom, destiny and free will," according to a press release.

“[García] teaches theatre literature from a world languages perspective and I create theatrical texts,” Listengarten said in the release. “We wondered what would happen if we were to collaborate, to bring something to life. What would happen? What would the challenges be?”

With the help of Nora Lee García, an associate flute professor at UCF, music was also incorporated into the production.

Although the production is set in Spanish, Listengarten said the language will not deter English-speaking viewers from understanding.

“We don’t necessarily need to understand words to respond to emotions that are embodied in the actors’ physical movement and voice," she said in the release.

Director Joseph D'Ambrosi agreed with Listengarten, noting that once the underlying message of the play came through, the difficulty of the language barrier crumbled.

"The cast and I talked about the meaning of the play and how its message is universal. We talked about the character development and the goals that each actor wanted to accomplish," he said in the release. Because of these conversations, the language naturally fell into place and I could understand what was happening onstage through the actors’ discoveries.

"It showed me, and I hope it will show the audience, that language is not the only means of communication, but that we can communicate through our connection with the characters’ journeys and experiences.”

The Life is a Dream project will be performed Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. Although the production is free and open to the public, tickets are required due to the capacity limit. They can be reserved at or by calling 407-823-1500.


Noelle Campbell is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @Noellecampz or email her at

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