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  • 1.  Arabian Nights

    Posted 03-21-2023 08:46

    I am looking at doing Dominic Cooke's Arabian Nights.  However, I'm hesitating because I'm afraid that it's inappropriate for my (mostly) white actors to be performing this.  What are other's thoughts on this? 

    Amy Neal Bussey
    Theatre Director, English and Drama Teacher
    Stuarts Draft High School
    Stuarts Draft, Virginia

  • 2.  RE: Arabian Nights

    Posted 03-22-2023 05:17
    Awesome play. We had no problem with it in my 7-12 grade school.

  • 3.  RE: Arabian Nights

    Posted 03-22-2023 07:44

    Well, you know I did it with a primarily white cast! And of course, you're welcome to borrow my script if you need to re-read it. We tried to approach it from a cultural appreciation rather than appropriation standpoint. And I do think that there's more freedom to tell other stories in educational theatre than in professional theatre. We took a very storytelling approach, so we were much more presentational than representational. And the stories from Arabian Nights come from many regions, so we thought of them as global stories. Those were just my thoughts at the time, though I'd be asking the same questions you are if I were directing it today.

    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Shenandoah Valley Governor's School

  • 4.  RE: Arabian Nights

    Posted 03-22-2023 10:30

    Directing from the themes of the script - love, hope, & change as told through storytelling - this play is for everyone.  It is global and can be directed and performed by anyone. The playwright, Dominic Cooke is English, white. If race, your mostly white students, were not the main issue then the play is appropriate. Look beyond the title of the play and dig deeper into the global aspect in which we can all learn something different. What about your students that's not "mostly white?" 

    Cheryl J. Williams
    Professor of Theatre