ALEJANDRA ALBUERNE (Spanish; DPhil Engineering and Archaeology at New College)
Alejandra is in the final year of her DPhil in Engineering and Archaeology at New College. She combines the study of ancient building structures with her passion - theatre - and her job - she is Junior Dean at Oriel College. Alejandra started acting at age 9 and has since been part of productions of Plautus, Lope de Vega, Ibsen or Jardiel Poncela, among others. She is playing Estrella for the second time in her acting life and has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to look for a less conventional side to this versatile character.
CRISTINA CRICHTON (Chilean; DPhil in Philosophy at New College)
Cristina is a second year DPhil student in Philosophy at New College. She loves dancing and has been involved in dance performances since she was a child. Her role in the play has much to do with dancing, which makes her enjoy it very much. Besides this, the fact that La Vida es Sueño is a deeply existential play touching upon crucial philosophical issues such as freedom and fate, makes it extremely interesting for her to be involved in this production.
KYRAN ESPARZA MCGLACKEN (Spanish/British; MSci Physics at Worcester College)
I am a second year physicist at Worcester. The last time I was in a play was at school when I was eleven so this play was a relatively new experience. I am also in the Tuna Universitaria de Oxford, a Spanish music society, I am the Arts rep of my college's JCR and I play darts. In the Oxford Spanish Play I am playing a meddling servant and a soldier.
CARLO FERRI (Italian; DPhil Geography at St Cross College)
Carlo is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of Geography and the Environment of the University of Oxford. He lived and worked in Italy, France, China and Taiwan, where he also played in theatre companies. Carlo likes to go to the beach on sunny summer afternoons.
FRANCISCO HERNÁNDEZ IBÁÑEZ (Spanish; actor and teacher)
After studing Drama in ESAD Murcia and Law at the Complutense University in Madrid, Paco embarked on a professional acting career and worked for almost 20 years on stage and screen. In 2009 he moved to England with his family and since then has been teaching Spanish and working sometimes as a voice artist. He never had the opportunity to act in La Vida es Sueño as a professional actor in Spain, and now in Oxford he has finally been given the chance with this OSP production. Paco says “each character is a challenge and with Clotaldo I hope to bring him to life and showcase his complexities."
THOMAS LE ROUX (French; Research Fellowship in History, Maison Française d'Oxford)
Appointed at the Maison Française d'Oxford for 2 years, I am a researcher at the CNRS in France in environmental history. This is my first timing acting in a real play and I am enjoying hearing spanish in England.
TIFFANY LIU (Chinese; BA French and Spanish at St Hugh's)
Tiffany is a first year undergraduate studying French and Spanish at St Hugh's. She was previously involved in a school production of La casa de Bernarda Alba playing Martirio but this will be her first time taking part in such a large scale performance. She is studying Golden Age literature as part of her course so it is great seeing the theatrical dimension of Calderón's play brought alive, especially with an interesting twist in this adaptation. She plays Clorilene and a soldier and is delighted to be working with such a diverse team of individuals.
MELANIE MARTIN (British; BA Spanish and French at Magdalen College)
Melanie is a second-year student of French and Spanish at Magdalen College. She loves getting involved with the Spanish community in Oxford and has acted in last year's Spanish play. She has been doing drama since high school and is very excited to be performing at the Playhouse for the first time. In this play, she will be appearing as a lady of the court and as a soldier.
ANTÓN MORANT (Spanish; MSc in Computer Science, Wolfson College alumnus. Currently Software Engineer)
Antón is a Software Engineer based in London who joined the OSP during his studies in Oxford in 2011. He took his first steps in theatre during school, and was later a part of the University of Oviedo Drama Group and of the Italian language group Pulcinella. With the OSP, he played Laurencio in La Dama Boba and Sigerico in Un Marido de Ida y Vuelta. Now, he is thrilled to face his most challenging role so far as Segismundo in La Vida es Sueño. Half human, half beast, locked away since his birth to prevent a fatal fate, Segismundo will have to fight his feral nature if he wants to defeat his foretold destiny in a journey to find himself.
BENEDICT NICHOLSON (British; BA Spanish and Portuguese at Lady Margaret Hall)
Ben is a final year student of Spanish and Portuguese at LMH. He has appeared in a number of student plays at Oxford including Journey's End, Arcadia and Charley's Aunt and recently directed his first play, an adaptation of Borges' 'The Aleph'. This is his first time acting in Spanish and he will be playing one of the royal servants and soldiers.
DIEGO PARDO AMADO (Spanish; Galician Lector at Queen's College)
Diego teaches Galician Language and Literature at Queen´s College and continues his postdoctoral research about Spanish Peninsular Literature of the 19th century. As a part of amateur companies, he has appeared in operas such as The Little Sweep by Benjamin Britten or Bastien und Bastienne by Mozart. In La Vida es Sueñohe plays a brave soldier.
OLIVIA PEACOCK (British; BA French and Spanish at St Catherine's College)
Olivia is a second year student studying French and Spanish at St Catherine´s College. She is studying La Vida es Sueño as part of her course this year and is looking forward to see how Calderón´s masterpiece translates onto the stage. She has acted in plays before in Oxford and is excited to be performing in the Playhouse as Violante.
SARAH PEYTON-JONES (British; BA German and Spanish at Worcester College)
Sarah is a first-year student of German and Spanish at Worcester College. She is thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to see Golden Age literature brought to life, as well as the experience of participating in a theatrical production on this scale. Never having acted before, she will be appearing in the background as a lady-in-waiting and a soldier.
DAVID RODRÍGUEZ LARREA (Spanish; Postdoctoral researcher in Chemistry)
David is appointed to the Chemistry Research Laboratory. When not in the lab he enjoys not only theatre but also sports, specially football. He played one of the leading roles in last year's Oxford Spanish Play, Un marido de ida y vuelta, where he had his first experience as an actor. In La vida es sueño he is playing the chief soldier: he will initiate the revolution and will be the only one who pays for it in the end.
ROBERTO RUBIO (Spanish; DPhil Mathematics at New College)
Roberto is a retained lecturer in Pure Mathematics at Jesus College and is reading for his second DPhil in Mathematics at New College. He joined OSP last year, when he wore a "matador" outfit and performed as Pepe inUn Marido de Ida y Vuelta. This year he will be transformed into Astolfo, the ambitious and flattering, yet noble and loyal, duke of Moscovia. He will not hesitate to brandish his sword or his verbosity to achieve the crown of Poland.
ARTEM SEREBRENNIKOV (Russian; DPhil Spanish at Exeter College)
Artem is a second year DPhil student working on a thesis on Don Quixote. His previous forays into Spanish Golden Age theatre include a production of El perro del hortelano back in his undergaduate years at Moscow State University. The challenges posed by the complexity of his character, both a king, an astrologer, and an estranged father, fascinate him to no end, as well as the fact that the play is (very loosely) based on events from Russian and Polish history of the turbulent 17th century.
EKATERINA SPIVAKOVSKY GONZALEZ (Spanish; Biochemistry at Worcester College)
Ekaterina is a final year student of Biochemistry. During her time at Oxford, she has acted in a number of productions, most notably the Oxford Operatic Society´s production of Eugene Onegin, Lope de Vega´s La Dama Boba, and the N-town Cycle Passion Plays at Worcester College. She returns to the stage in a new and exciting venue, the Oxford Playhouse, as Rosaura in the timeless 17th century classic La Vida es Sueño...what an adventure!
TERESITA VALVERDE MÓJICA (Mexican; Ashmolean Museum)
Teresita works at the Ashmolean Museum, where her main responsibility is graphic design and photography for the Museum shop website but you can also find her helping at the shop floor! She made her debut in theatre when she was 15, in the role of Cleante in El enfermo imaginario, and later as a tormented daughter of Bernarda in La casa de Bernarda Alba . Life is a Dream will be her first performance in the UK, in the role of Clarin, a funny guy whose main concern is to survive and save his life at any cost! Even though Clarin is not entirely honest, he is not a bad guy, he is very human and “un grande agradador de todos los Segismundos”.
AELWEN WETHERBY (American; DPhil History of Science & Medicine at Balliol College)
Aelwen is completing the final year of her DPhil in the History of Science & Medicine at Balliol College, studying humanitarian responses to the Spanish Civil War and Second Sino-Japanese War. After 10-year hiatus, Aelwen re-discovered her joy of theatre as the straight-laced (yet highly perceptive) housekeeper in the OSP's 2012 production of Un Marido de Ida y Vuelta. She is excited to be involved in another OSP production this year, exploring both feminine and masculine sides as a dama and soldier.