“The Arabian Nights” offers new theatre experience

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

When the theatre department selected the show to open the Wolfe Center for the Arts’ Eva Marie Saint Theatre, it was 



 something special, which is why it chose “The Arabian Nights.”

“It’s a super special theatre experience,” said senior and stage manager for the play, A. M. Duffee.

The show features gymnastics, theatrical movement, singing, dancing and stage combat, Duffee said.

The play, which premiered Feb. 16 and ran through the 19, will show again this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Its first weekend out, the show was sold out, said Jonathan Chambers, the director of the play and associate professor in the department of theatre and film.

With the premiere of the play came an experience different than any other at the University thus far — theatre in the round.

Theatre in the round is an arena-type stage with the audience seated on all four sides, Duffee said.

“When you come in you’re within a few feet of the playing space as you watch it,” Chambers said.

This style adds intimacy between actors and audience members, said senior Dylan Stretchbery, who plays King Shahryar in the play.

“All the actors are always on the stage,” Stretchbery said. “As opposed to being able to walk backstage you are constantly in the eye of the audience, you can’t drop character.”

The play has a lot of appeal for students, Duffee said.

“There’s a lot of sex in it and students like sex,” Duffee said. “I think it’s one of the best shows we’ve done that will connect to students lately.”

Duffee named some things to look forward to as the Jester’s Tale and a three-minute-long fart scene.

“[The Jester’s Tale] is four comedic sex scenes back to back,” Duffee said. “It’s very sarcastic, it’s supposed to be ridiculous.”

Stretchbery recommended audiences come for the fart scene.

“Usually if an audience member isn’t convinced on the comedy of a show this will win them over,” Stretchbery said.

The opportunity to come back and do the play again excites those involved.

“I’m ready to get right back into it,” Stretchbery said.

Chambers said he is excited for people going to see the show.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share this production with another group of audience members,” Chambers said.