DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama to present Irish premiere of the Arabian Nights

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1st March 2010

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

Written by Mary Zimmerman

Adapted from THE BOOK OF THE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND ONE NIGHT

Director: Susie Kennedy

Cast: BA Drama Graduates

Time: March 29 (preview), 30, 31, April 1, 2 @ 8pm April 2, @ 3:15 pm

Venue: The Cube, Project Arts Centre, Essex St., Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Bookings: 01-8819613 www.projectartscentre.ie

Tickets: €15 full / €10 Students, OAP, Concessions, & DIT Staff

Suitable for ages 12+

The Arabian Nights by acclaimed American playwright and director, Mary Zimmerman, is the retelling of one of the greatest epics of world literature - a celebration of the imagination and of story telling. Adapted from the extraordinary collection of folk tales and ancient stories known as One Thousand and One Nights, the Arabian Nights brings a funny, romantic, sobering and enchanting storybook world to life.

Opening on March 29 and running for 5 nights in the Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2, the DIT Graduate production of the Arabian Nights, directed by Susie Kennedy MA, Lecturer in Drama, will be the Irish Premiere of this exceptional play. It will take full advantage of a talented cast of 22 young actors from DIT’s BA in Drama (Performance), trained in movement, dance, singing and acting to present an energetic and imaginative interpretation of the text.

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The Arabian Nights is ultimately a series of stories within a story. The tales are held together by the frame story of the King Shahrayar, driven mad by his first wife’s infidelity. Branding all women unfaithful, he decides to take a new bride every night and execute her in the morning, until he marries the resourceful Shahrazad. With a mischievous imagination and silver tongue, Shahrazad avoids death and survives each night by enchanting him with a dazzling array of stories and characters, summoned forth from strange and magical worlds. These stories tickle, bemuse, scare, and delight ones senses. They take you from the heights of hilarity to sobering reflections on our shared humanity.

Told through a mixture of song, dance, and illusion, the DIT Graduate production of the Arabian Nights promises an enchanting trip through the ancient world of the Middle East. Audiences will be transported from a king’s bedroom in Baghdad through courts and harems, and hot desert sands and scented markets. They’ll be introduced to magical worlds populated by giant beasts, talking birds, and singing trees. They’ll meet some strange and fascinating characters like flying genies and ghouls, an arrogant merchant who commits a famous indiscretion, a belly-dancing maiden called Perfect Love, and a brilliant woman called Sympathy.

The Middle Eastern music and dance contribute to the magical experience. Original music composed by Dermott McDermott and Glen Austin will accompany the songs. Seductive lighting by Kevin Smyth complements the exotic ambience. Add to this the lush carpets and lanterns, the sumptuous costumes designed by Marie Tierney and you’re mesmerized, hooked, totally engrossed. This promises to be a stunning production in every way. Go. Experience it. At least once!

The Arabian Nights opens Tuesday, 29th March and runs through to April 02nd in the Cube, Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2. Tickets are priced €15 (€10 concession) and are available through www.projectartscentre.ie or by phone 01-8819613.

For over 60 years, the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama has been committed to practical drama training and education. The Honours BA in Drama (Performance) is a three-year full-time programme which includes actor training, movement, Shakespeare in performance, Irish drama, performance for radio and camera, as well as theatre in education and performance analysis. The Graduate Production provides an opportunity for students to integrate the skills acquired in the many stands of the programme into practice in the context of a full scale public performance. Past performances have included The Crucible, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Antigone. Graduates from this programme have worked in the Abbey Theatre, RTÉ, the Royal Shakespeare Company, London’s West End and TEAM Theatre Company, among many other institutions.

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