Rich cultural and historical tales will unspool on stage this weekend in Milton’s spring production, Arabian Nights. The script is playwright Mary Zimmerman’s adaption of the legendary collection of Persian stories,The Arabian Nights: The Book of 1,001 Nights.
“The focus of the tales is the strength of women,” says performing arts faculty member, Dar Anastas. “In a society where women had no official power, the stories show the ways in which they do have power.”
The stories, interwoven with dance and music, revolve around two main characters—Shahryar, the Persian king and Scheherezade, his new wife.
“The storytelling is really cinematic, so the challenge is to capture this sense and make the production flow from story to story,” says Dar.
Dar plans to extend the stage out into the seating area and surround the stage on three sides, bringing the audience members into the story. Four students are helping Dar design unique and fantastical sets and lighting. Moving elements will evolve with the action and the production promises surprise scenic moments.
Arabian Nights will fill King Theatre on Thursday, May 17, and Friday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, May 19 at 7 p.m.