Open Forum

Zimmerman's Arabian Nights

  • 1.  Zimmerman's Arabian Nights

    Posted 05-14-2019 16:17
    Hi all,

    We're considering Zimmerman's Arabian Nights but wondering if any other school productions have produced a cutting of the script? Some of the lustier content could be questionable to admin and parents. I know this is a fairly popular, and certainly well loved, show so maybe you have other suggestions for handling the material or any advice with pitfalls from experience. Thanks in advance!

    Lauren Kean
    Turpin Theatre Director
    Turpin High School
    Cincinnati OH

  • 2.  RE: Zimmerman's Arabian Nights

    Posted 05-15-2019 08:27
    We looked at both this version and the RSC version by Dominic Cooke and ended up choosing the latter. The lusty and violent elements of the stories are way toned down because it was designed for young audiences. But it was still really meaningful and challenging, also funny and clever. We like the MZ version, too (we did her Metamorphoses in 2011), but the Cooke version was just a better fit for our students and our community.

    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Fishersville VA

  • 3.  RE: Zimmerman's Arabian Nights

    Posted 05-15-2019 11:02
    We performed the uncut , full script about 10 years ago...the actors, audience were made aware of the language challenges - we even brought in a dramaturg gifted in Middle Eastern studies to assist us in understanding the text more deeply and therefore telling the stories at a more respectful and even, humourous level.  It was interesting to note how many "diverse" kids came out to audition and perform in the play, and the audience that came to see it (seated on blankets around a sand filled set) were incredibly engaged and entertained.
    A fantastic choice for a high school production.

    Janet Van Wess
    Theatre Arts Director
    Liberty High School - Troupe 6644
    Hillsboro, Oregon

  • 4.  RE: Zimmerman's Arabian Nights

    Posted 05-15-2019 12:23
    I did the show about 8 years ago.  The "racier" stuff occurs during the "Confusion of stories" and the audience is hard pressed to follow the plots at that point--plus very few people knew the word "pederast".  I had no issues with content

    I will caution you that the Confusion of Stories took almost two weeks of rehearsal to get right. The Arabic music was a challenge to perform for the kids. The show went over very well though!

    Dr. Doug Erwin
    Director of Theatre-McCluer Troupe 787
    K-12 Fine Arts Coordinator
    Ferguson Florissant School District
    Ferguson, MO