The Arabian Nights

In Mary Zimmerman’s stunning retelling of the ancient One Thousand and One Nights, Scheherazade’s cliffhanger stories prevent her husband, the cruel ruler Shahryar, from murdering her night after night.  This adaptation explores the 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 cultural history that are embodied by these tales.


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To read more about the process, we were featured in a UVAToday article to promote the show.

Artistic Staff

Director: Olivia Hairfield
Assistant Director: Vicki Ford
Composer: Joseph Schefer
Music Director: Alexis Cooper
Vocal Director: Pat Burns
Assistant Vocal Direction: Liz Kelly
Choreographer: Becky Galt
Assistant Choreographer: Sage Tanguay


Niki Afsar
Julien Guh
Elsa Schieffelin
Amanda Diamond
Elizabeth Ballou
Erica Kim
Alexis Greenberg
Victoria Tovig
Nick Mattia
Lou Garcia
Brian Ammer
Ben Cunningham
Lucas Breit


Pit Director: Alexis Cooper
Guitar: Rob Edwards
Percussion: Alan Brody
Cello: Michael Dettmar


Technical Director: Melissa Collins
Assistant Technical Director: Dan Barr
Lighting Designer: Quinn Gomola Mullin
Assistant Lighting Designer: Rebecca Hotchner
Lighting Advisor: Victoria Ford
Props Mistress: Claudia Kuchler
Assistant Props Mistress: Tara Hotaling
Costume Designer: Sri Kodakalla
Makeup Designer: Caroline Whisnant
Hair Designer: Whitney Parker
Stage Manager: Giselle Robles

Info on the Cultural Performance Celebration.

Director’s Note: Most of us are familiar with the tales of Aladdin or the Forty Thieves, but have you heard of the great and glorious ruler, Harun al Rashid or of Sympathy the Learned? For each of these tales of marvel, I want you to pay close attention to the details. Although occasionally licentious or lewd, these stories speak of change. Words have the power to heal the broken. With words we share our past and relate the joys of the moment. As you hear the wind rush over the city of Baghdad, embrace this mischievous world of power, laughter, and love.


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