ARABIAN NIGHTS Runs 2/20-3/2 at NKU

This production is directed by Brian Robertson and will run Feb. 20 - Mar. 2, 2014 in the Corbett Theatre.

Scheherazade, the new bride of the cruel ruler Shahryar, knows her fate rests in her ability to survive this new union and hopes that her stories and determination will ultimately be the key to freedom. The play is based on Powys Mather's translation of The Book of the Thousand and One Night and Zimmerman has the cast enact the heroine Scheherazade's tales of love, lust, comedy, and dreams. This adaptation offers a wonderful blend of the lesser-known tales from Arabian Nights with the recurring theme of how the magic of storytelling holds the power to change people. Chicago Magazine called Arabian Nights "A feast for the eyes and ears."

Senior Cynthea Mercado plays the beautiful Scheherazade. The youthful woman searches for escape from her situation by bringing to life the many stories that live in her head. Mercado herself seems to be having fun living in Scheherazade's imagination. "My favorite part of Arabian Nights would definitely be seeing the text come to life. The first time I read this play I fell in love with it. It's really amazing to see all the different elements come together to create something marvelous." Mercado knows it isn't all fun and games for her character, though, "One of the biggest challenges I came across in portraying Scheherazade was finding balance. Scheherazade's life is threatened with the reality of her situation, and yet she is still able to enjoy her own tales and sometimes get lost in them."

Both Mercado and her on stage tormentor Terrance McCraney (Shahryar) speak very highly of Director Brian Robertson and his process. McCraney stated, "Working with Brian and his ideas has been great. I think the cast has grown a sense of community that we play off of. Brian has strong visions but really allows his actors to create with him, versus just telling the actors where they need to be and when they need to be there." Robertson sums up what makes this piece so powerful and unique stating his favorite part of the play is "the story." It seems simple but he goes on to say, "[the biggest challenge in directing Arbian Nights is] the enormous amount of detail to track in the production."

Lucky for Robertson he has a great production team including Guest Lighting Designer Bruce Auerbach to help with some of those details. NKU was able to secure Auerbach after moving the orginal dates of the shows run to fit his schedule. Auerbach has worked in the industry for over 30 years, and in addition to his design work, he served for six years as Chair and Artistic Director for the Department of Dance and Theatre at UNC Charlotte. Prior to that he was the Associate Chair and Director of Theatre in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame.

Tickets are on sale now!

Show Times:
Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 3pm
Monday & Tuesday are dark

Ticket prices:
General Admission: $14
Senior (60+): $11
Student (with a valid ID): $8

For more information call the NKU Fine Arts Box Office at 859.572.5464 or go to

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by Barnett Serchuk