THE ARABIAN NIGHTS to Run 2/26-3/9 at University of Washington

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS to Run 2/26-3/9 at University of Washington

Leah Adcock-Starr, a second-year student in the Professional Director Training Program (PDTP) at the University of Washington School of Drama, will direct Mary Zimmerman's The Arabian Nights for her first full-length workshop production for the School of Drama.

Mary Zimmerman adapted her play from The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, the classic tale of the young Scheherazade who must weave a new story every night to postpone the death sentence imposed by her husband, King Shahryar. 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.

This theme of storytelling is exactly what attracted Leah Adcock-Starr to the script: "I see things through story, and I believe they can be an agent of change in the world. This play is all about that. The stories literally save and change the lives of these characters. And, I love that Scheherazade's weapon to fight injustice are her stories - they are her mode of survival."

The Arabian Nights is in previews February 26 & 27 and runs February 28 - March 9. Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets range from $10-20 and are available online or over the phone through the UW Arts Ticket Office, 206-543-4880 / drama.uw.edu/performances. The UW Arts Ticket Office is located at 1313 NE 41st Street, open Monday-Friday, 11 am-6 pm.

Performances are in the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, located 4045 University Way NE.

Cast members include members of the School of Drama Professional Actor Training Program: Tre Cotton, Claire Fort, Christen Gee, Jon-Erik Hegstad, Brianne Hill, Yesenia Iglesias, Pankaj Jha, Rebekah Patti, Rudy Roushdi, Andrea Salaiz, Jonathan Shue, Christian Telesmar, Tara Velan, Zach Virden, and Kimberly Wood.

Design team includes MFA designers: Maya Ogasawara - Scenic Design, Michaela Petrovich - Costume Design, Ryn Flynn - Lighting Design.

Leah Adcock-Starr worked as a freelance director, play maker, and educator for theatre companies in the Saint Paul and Minneapolis metro area before joining the MFA Directing program at the University of Washington. In addition, Leah worked for several years as the Teen Programs Coordinator for the Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company. Favorite theatrical adventures include assisting Greg Banks on the award-winning audience immersive production of Romeo and Juliet at the Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company, creating and directing Work of Heart, an original musical odyssey with Interact Arts Center, and directing a promenade STOMP-inspired production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for Upright Egg Theatre Company.

The UW School of Drama celebrates, develops and prepares for employment the 21st century artist through innovative education, practical application and connection to the world of performing art.

For almost 75 years it has served as one of this country's leading training institutions for theatre artists and scholars. Twenty one faculty and twenty staff members serve 150 undergraduate majors and 45 graduate students. For 20 years Sarah Nash Gates has led the department as Executive Director. The 2013-2014 Season marks her final season at the University of Washington as she prepares for retirement at the end of the 2014 school year.

The School of Drama offers MFA degrees in acting, design, and directing, a four-year undergraduate liberal arts education in Drama or Musical Theatre, and a PhD in theatre history and criticism. Internationally, students may study and present work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and in Pontlevoy, France as The Drama Collective. Faculty and alumni have founded theatres such as ACT (Seattle), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Empty Space Theatre, Wing-it Productions, and most recently, the Washington Ensemble Theatre and Azeotrope.

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