The Arabian Nights: A Play

Front Cover
Northwestern University Press, Feb 15, 2005 - Drama - 144 pages
10 Reviews
A twelve-member cast enacts Scheherazade's tales of love, lust, comedy, and dreams. Scheherazade's cliffhanger stories prevent her husband, the cruel ruler Shahryar, from murdering her, and after 1,001 nights, Shahryar is cured of his madness, and Scheherazade returns to her family. This adaptation offers a wonderful blend of the lesser-known tales from Arabian Nights with the recurring theme of how the magic of storytelling holds the power to change people. The final scene brings the audience back to a modern day Baghdad with the wail of air raid sirens threatening the rich culture and history that are embodied by these tales.

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Review: The Arabian Nights

User Review  - Matthew Martignoni - Goodreads

This play is amazing. I preformed in it in October 2014, and could not have had a better time. There were places where I couldn't stop myself from laughing, and other places where I couldn't help but cry. I highly recommend this. Read full review

Review: The Arabian Nights

User Review  - Marten Hoyle - Goodreads

I just couldn't get into this book. It is too much of a children's novel for me. Some of it was good, but for the most part it was just too simple for me to read. Read full review

Selected pages


Improvisation in The Wonderful Bag
A Note on the Casting
About the Playwright

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References to this book

About the author (2005)

Mary Zimmerman is a professor of performance studies at Northwestern University. In 1998, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 2002, she won the Tony Award for Best Director. She has adapted-directed Metamorphoses, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, The Odyssey, The Arabian Nights, Eleven Rooms of Proust, and Journey to the West. Mostly recently she directed and wrote the libretto for Galileo Galilee, the new opera by Philip Glass, which premiered at the Goodman Theatre.

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