Mary Zimmerman's ARABIAN NIGHTS Returns to Berkeley Rep, 12/11

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS will play only 24 performances between December 11 and December 30. Tickets are on sale now exclusively to Berkeley Rep's subscribers and donors. Seats go on sale to the general public later this fall.

"Mary Zimmerman has a unique ability to bring our oldest stories back to life in ways that make us remember why they're eternal and unforgettable," remarks Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep. "When we presented this show during the holiday season in 2008, it proved enormously popular with our audience. So we're pleased to welcome Mary back and get a second look at this magical show."

"It's beginning to feel like a myth of its own," Zimmerman adds, "the way my work always brings me to the safe harbor of Berkeley Rep. Audiences here are so receptive and supportive that it's always a pleasure to come back."

Director Mary Zimmerman made her career by reanimating ancient myths like Argonautika and Metamorphoses... now she breathes new life into the legend of the 1,001 nights. To save her life, a beautiful bride must spin hypnotic tales of genies, jesters, thieves, and kings - winning her freedom by eventually winning her husband's heart. He falls under Scheherazade's spell, and Zimmerman enchants the audience as well with her signature style that transforms simplicity into the sublime. Amidst a thousand tales of honor, revenge, and humor, only love emerges victorious.

A co-production with Arena Stage, THE ARABIAN NIGHTS will travel to Washington, DC in 2011. It features designs by Daniel Ostling (sets), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), TJ Gerckens (lights), and Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman (sound).

Mary Zimmerman is the recipient of the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director and a 1998 MacArthur Fellowship. At Berkeley Rep, audiences embraced her acclaimed productions of Argonautika, Journey to the West, Metamorphoses, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, and The Secret in the Wings. These plays - and others that she's adapted and directed such as Eleven Rooms of Proust, The Odyssey, Silk, and S/M - have enjoyed celebrated runs at About Face Theatre, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Goodman Theatre, the Huntington Theatre Company, Lookingglass Theatre Company, the Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theatre Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, and The Shakespeare Theatre Company. Based in Chicago, Zimmerman has won 10 Joseph Jefferson Awards - the city's top theatrical honors - including prizes for best production and best direction. She is the Manilow Resident Director at the Goodman, a member of Lookingglass, an artistic associate at Seattle Rep, and a professor of performance studies at Northwestern University. She also directed classics such as All's Well That Ends Well, Pericles, and The Trojan Women at the Goodman; Henry VIII and Measure for Measure at the New York Shakespeare Festival; A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Huntington; and Pericles at The Shakespeare Theatre. In 2002, Zimmerman created a new opera with Philip Glass called Galileo Galilei, which was presented at the Goodman, BAM, and the Barbican in London. In the last three years, she has staged Armida, Lucia di Lammermoor, and La Sonnambula for the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Tickets to The Arabian Nights start at $34 - or only $17.50 for anyone under 30 years of age. Berkeley Rep subscribers save $5 on tickets to the first 10 performances. The show is presented on the intimate Thrust Stage, which is located at 2025 Addison Street, near bus lines, bike routes, and parking lots, and only half a block from BART. For tickets, subscriptions, or information, call (510) 647-2949 or (888) 4-BRT-Tix (toll-free) - or just click

Performance times are as follows:

Saturday 12/11 @ 8 PM
Sunday 12/12 @ 7 PM
Tuesday 12/14 @ 8 PM
Wednesday 12/15 @ 7 PM
Thursday 12/16 @ 8 PM
Friday 12/17 @ 8 PM
Saturday 12/18 @ 2 PM & 8 PM
Sunday 12/19 @ 2 PM & 7 PM
Tuesday 12/21 @ 2 PM & 8 PM
Wednesday 12/22 @ 2 PM & 7 PM
Thursday 12/23 @ 2 PM & 8 PM
Friday 12/24 @ 2 PM
Sunday 12/26 @ 2 PM & 7 PM
Tuesday 12/28 @ 8 PM
Wednesday 12/29 @ 2 PM & 7 PM
Thursday 12/30 @ 2 PM & 8 PM

Photo Credit:

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