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Canal Park Playhouse Presents SARAZAD AND THE MONSTER-KING, Now thru 7/15

Canal Park Playhouse and The TRUF presents the world premiere of SARAZAD AND THE MONSTER-KING, a re-imagining of the story of Scheherazade or The 1001 Arabian Nights, written by E. J. C. Calvert and directed by Justin Lauro. SARAZAD AND THE MONSTER-KING begins performances tonight, June 23 for a limited engagement through Sunday, July 15. The performance schedule is Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM & 4 PM. Performances take place at Canal Park Playhouse (508 Canal Street, between Greenwich and West Streets in Tribeca). The regular ticket price is $18. For tickets or more information, call OvationTix on 1-866-811-4111 or

A re-imagining of Scheherazade or The 1001 Arabian Nights, Sarazad is a shy 9-year-old girl who loves to escape into a world of books, story-telling and imaginary friends. When the kids at school bully her for being different, Sarazad retreats into Storyland, where she meets the grumpy Monster-King. But things change when Sarazad weaves her tales for him, and soon he discovers the power of friendship. Sarazad leaves Storyland realizing that her stories can make a difference, and she returns to school to use them to prevail.

The same themes in SARAZAD AND THE MONSTER-KING are explored in the evening show at Canal Park Playhouse, a revival of Frank McGuinness’s Tony Award-nominated play SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME (good for teens and up). The Tony Award-nominated play about three men held as political prisoners in Beirut, shares the theme of storytelling as a way to persevere through conflict.  By pairing two multigenerational pieces, themes relevant to young and old are intertwined, blurring the line that divides the two, and opening a conversation between adults and children about the issues and ideas raised in each play.

The cast of SARAZAD AND THE MONSTER-KING features Penny Middleton, Kelly Higgins, AJ Converse and Dean Linnard.

E. J. C. Calvert (playwright) is from St. Louis, Missouri, currently living in Chicago.  Achievements include:  Samuel French OOB 2010 Winner, O'Neill Conference semifinalist, Leota Diesel Ashton Prize in Playwriting recipient, International Women's Playwriting Festival finalist, Chatterton Short Play Festival Audience Award winner.  Her play The Bear (A Tragedy) is published by Samuel French.  Recent performances and readings include Calamity Jane Battles the Horrible Hoopsnakes (Looking Glass Theatre), The Bird Girl (Last Frontier Theatre Conference Play Lab), Testify! (Roy Arias Studios), Cadaver Synod (The Brecht Forum), Witness! The Amazing Slipping Away (The Cell).  She is also half of comedy duo Lizanda, who will be performing their new show #1 Besties with Boy Trouble (U.S.) at the Chicago Fringe Festival this summer.  E. J. C. holds an MFA in Playwriting from the New School for Drama and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Justin Lauro (director) is a classically trained actor, having studied at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School and International Theater Workshop in Amsterdam.   He served as assistant director to acclaimed Dutch director and Brecht scholar Paul Binnerts for NYU's Main Stage production of Bertolt Brecht's Man is Man, later performing in a revival of the production at the HERE Arts Center in downtown New York.  Justin adapted Carol Churchill's teleplay The After-Dinner Joke for the stage and directed its US premiere at the Barrow Group Theater.  A certified actor-combatant with the SAFD, Justin has worked as an assistant fight director at the Atlantic Theater Company and fight choreographer at New York Renaissance Faire and Fort Tryon Park Medieval Festival.  Other acting credits include Twelfth Night, Our Country's Good, and 15-Minute Hamlet. He attended New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, where he graduated with a B.F.A. in theater.

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