Arabian Nights debuts Friday, Feb. 22

cordell-jeffThe Theatre at Marietta College concludes its 2012-13 mainstage season with a six-show run of The Arabian Nights by Mary Zimmerman.

Nights opens at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22 and continues with 8 p.m. performances on Feb. 23, March 1 and March 2. There are also 2 p.m. matinee performances on Feb. 24 and March 3.

“Building this production is a true collaborative experience. I feel like I have actually rubbed a magic lamp and received more than three wishes,” said Director Jeffrey Cordell. “Working with the artistic impulses of the student ensemble and watching them develop multiple characters for the stories is proving to be such fun and a rewarding training process.”

All performances are in the Friederich Theatre of the Hermann Fine Arts Center Butler Street on the Marietta College campus. 

Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights is a beautiful, powerful, and theatrical adaptation of the classic 1001 Arabian Nights. A king (Shahryar) who was betrayed by his wife has settled into a vengeful pattern of marrying a new bride every night, taking her virginity, and then killing her.

After many years of terror, parents with daughters have fled. This leaves the daughters of the king’s advisor (Scheherezade and Dunyazade) in line to be the king’s next brides. When Scheherezade marries Shahryar, she knows the morning light means her death. But with the help of Dunyazade, a vivid imagination, and a colorful cast of characters, she tempts the king and her fate ... for 1,000 more nights.

Cordell said the play contains 16 stories of deceit, virtue, true love, and wisdom.

“The environmental scenic design by David Makuch is a 360-degree playground for actors and audiences alike, complete with a flying carpet. There will be rich, colorful lighting by Nathan Bradley ’13 (Sandyville, W.Va.), inspired by Middle Eastern architecture as well as modern dance,” Cordell said. “Renée Bell’s costume design provides sand-toned base outfits exploring the range of Arabian clothing styles and accented by colorful pieces for specific characters. We are also developing original music and choreography to fit our production. It is a whirlwind of artistic creation towards a memorable night at the theatre.”

Cordell said a special audience viewing experience adds to the memorable night of theatre. Befitting stories told in a Middle Eastern palace, about one-third of the seating will be pillows and carpets on the floor. The other two-thirds of the seating will be standard general admission audience chairs.

When reserving tickets through the department’s new on-line reservation system, audience members can select a specific seating option or indicate their willingness to sit in either area. Tickets may be reserved by visiting the website at www.marietta.edu/~thea.edu and clicking on the box office link or purchased before the show.

Regardless of seating options in the theatre, ticket prices are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for students. Tickets for Marietta College students and employees are free. Reservations are recommended. Reserved tickets may be picked up and paid for beginning one hour before the performance. Reserved tickets must be picked up by 10 minutes before the performance. At that time, any unclaimed tickets will be released.

For more information, contact Dorothy Leifheit at (740) 376-4688 or dwl001@marietta.edu.

TOM PERRY

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