Out of the Wings

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La vida es sueño (1635), Pedro Calderón de la Barca


This play is a three-act comedia.


The action takes place in three locations: the tower in which Segismundo is imprisoned and the grounds around it; the royal palace of Poland; and the forest in-between. Rosaura at first is dressed as a man and carries a sword but also, later, she wears female clothes and finally changes into attire suitable for battle (she also has a cloak in Act 3). The soldiers in the first scene have their faces covered to conceal their identity. Astolfo wears a necklace with a locket that contains a portrait of Rosaura, which is used at the end of Act 2. Segismundo is described as wearing animal skins, but in the palace he appears in princely robes. Basilio wears a cloak to conceal his face when visiting Segismundo in Act 3, Clotaldo carries a gun and Astolfo wears a hat (mentioned in Act 2).

Cast number
Minimum Maximum
6 males 15 males
2 females 2 females
8 (total) 17 (total)
  • SEGISMUNDO, Prince
  • CLOTALDO, An old man
  • ESTRELLA, Princess
  • CLARÍN, Comic servant
  • BASILIO, King
  • ASTOLFO, Prince

Entry written by Kathleen Jeffs. Last updated on 31 January 2012.

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