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Shakespeare in the Park? Feh — we got Calderon’s ‘Dream’ play

There was Shakespeare in the Park this summer. Now there’s Calderón in the Park.

Festival of Fools got tired of the prevalence of the Bard in outdoor productions, so this month, the Park Slope-based company is putting on Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s best-known play, “Life is a Dream,” for two weekends at the Prospect Park pagoda.

“I love classical verse, it’s a pity that it isn’t being explored anymore,” said Artistic Director Tim Bungeroth. “My whole goal is to produce new Neo-Classical theater for a modern audience in a modern vernacular.”

This 400-year-old play isn’t quite so modern, but it’s a treat — think “Inception,” but set in the 17th century and without special effects. The story follows Segismund, a prince of Poland who is imprisoned after living up to a prophecy that predicted that he would rule with tyranny. After being banished, he has trouble determining what’s real and what’s just in his dreams.

Plus, there are epic sword battles.

“Life is a Dream” at the Prospect Park Pagoda (enter park at Empire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, no phone), Aug. 14–15, 22 and 28 at 2 pm. Free. For info, visit www.afestivaloffools.com.— Meredith Deliso

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