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PCC’s respected Theatre Arts Program to stage part one of “The Arabian Nights”

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Be whisked away by classic stories of the Middle East and South Asia as Portland Community College Theatre Arts Program presents part one of “The Arabian Nights” from March 4-5 and March 10-13 at the Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center.

Based on Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation, “The Arabian Nights” is a tale of King Shahryar, who slays his wife after finding her with another man. He vows to marry a virgin every night and murder her the following morning, so he never feels the same heartbreak again. The killing comes to a halt when he meets Scheherazade, who keeps Shahryar from sending her to death every morning with compelling stories that spare her life.

Take a look at a video about the play by PCC’s Theatre Arts folks to get a taste of the story.

“‘The Arabian Nights’ is an extremely well-written script and will be performed by a talented group of student actors,” said Patrick Tangredi, director of the play and the PCC Theatre Arts Program. “This is a great time for us to be crossing our own borders of what we perceive are the cultures of the Middle East. These stories help us unite rather than divide and have messages that we can all relate to.”

The 14-person cast of “The Arabian Nights” will be composed entirely of students from the Theatre Arts Program and includes award-winning set and costume designers from the local community.

“Most actors will play at least three parts,” Tangredi explained. “This is a group of young people who were toddlers when 9/11 occurred and they have grown up with generated images of the Middle East. They have tackled the play with an open mind and also with a hunger to understand the culture.”

The performances will be directed by the eight-year veteran Tangredi, who also managed “The Glass Menagerie,” “Usagi Yojimbo,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Cyclops” in recent PCC productions.

Part two of the acclaimed play will be performed May 6-15.

“‘The Arabian Nights’ is a very large script and I think it would be too much for us to do in one sitting,” Tangredi said. “It was also too good of a script to pass by. We decided to split it up and give it the attention it deserves.”

The current show will run for 80 minutes with no intermission. The content of the performance is suitable for ages 12 and up.

General admission tickets are $10 and $8 for students, veterans and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the PCC box office one hour before curtain time or online.

Performance dates and times:

  • 7 p.m., Friday, March 4.
  • 7 p.m., Saturday, March 5.
  • 11 a.m., Thursday, March 10.
  • 7 p.m., Friday, March 11.
  • 7 p.m., Saturday, March 12 (sign language interpreted).
  • 2 p.m., Sunday, March 13.

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