Performances of 'Arabian Nights' Continue
Clever maiden tells stories to Sultan to keep him from beheading her. Then she runs out of stories.
Duluth’s New Dawn Theater Company is presenting a fanciful tale about Scheherazade, a maiden who tells nightly stories that captivate the Sultan to keep him from beheading her the next morning, in “The Arabian Nights” based on “The Entertainment of A Thousand and One Nights.” The entertaining play opened Thursday, June 9, and continues Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through June 26.
The Sultan marries the maidens and then kills them because his wife left him and hurt him so badly, he doesn’t think he can ever be happily married again, according to Sherry Ingbritsen, president and artistic director of New Dawn Theater Company, the play’s director. “Scheherazade fears for all the maidens in the kingdom and decides to offer herself to him as wife. Then she begins to tell him a story that she has no plan on finishing until the next night.”
The clever Scheherazade stops in the middle of the story when dawn arrives. She continues the story the next night and starts a second story that she doesn’t finish. The Sultan spares her life again and again to hear the end of the stories. But at the end of 1001 nights and 1000 stories, Scheherazade runs out of stories. “Will the Sultan let Scheherazade live, or will he kill her as he has all the rest?” Ingbritsen asked. “The show will keep the audience smiling and riveted the way a fairytale should,” she said.
The cast includes about 28 people, both children and adults. “It has taken a lot of hard work on everybody’s part to put it together,” according to Ingbritsen, “from learning lines and character building, dance rehearsals and set building marathons for our designer. “The Arabian Nights” is not a musical, but it contains dance numbers, she said. The play being produced by New Dawn was written by Lowell Swortzell.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $10 for students and children To order tickets, call the box office at 678-887-5015 or order online at www.newdawntheatercompany.com. New Dawn Theater Company is located at 3087 Main St. in downtown Duluth.