The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

UCSB presents THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, May 9-18, 2014


by Mary Zimmerman
directed by Jeff Mills

May 9 & 13 – 17 / 8 PM
May 10, 17 & 18 / 2 PM

Performing Arts Theater, UC Santa Barbara

$17 General Admission
$13 Students, Seniors, UCSB Faculty/Staff/Alumni

The power of storytelling is paramount in our latest ACTING UP FRONT production, Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights. Director Jeff Mills (from BOXTALES Theatre Company) and his seventeen-member cast will amaze and beguile as they enact Scheherazade’s tales of love, lust, comedy and dreams. Great storytelling needs nothing more than an empty space, the voices and bodies of the tellers and the engaged imagination of the audience. There is no more fitting material for our ACTING UP FRONT style than tales from the Thousand and One Nights.

In Thousand and One Nights, better known in English as Arabian Nights, Scheherazade’s cliffhanger stories prevent her husband, the cruel ruler Shahryar, from murdering her. After 1,001 nights, Shahryar is cured of his madness, and Scheherazade and Shahryar live happily as equals. The Arabian Nights adaptation offers a blend of the lesser-known stories with the recurring theme of how the magic of storytelling holds the power to change people. The Arabian Nightswill bring many of these tales into the present day and focus on the relevancy of their eternal themes.

This year’s ACTING UP FRONT production is presented in a promenade-like style where audiences should be prepared to participate fully in the show. Jeff Mills hopes to enchant the audience on such a level that they let go of whatever obsolete anger and bitterness that they may be holding on to in favor of the freedom and joy that storytelling can create.

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