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'Arabian Nights' to heat up PCC's stage

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Tigards Jaiden Wright in a scene with Tristan Avery of West Linn in PCCs The Arabian Nights in production March 4-13 at the Sylvan Campus Performing Arts Center.

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” March 4-13 at the Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center in Portland.

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.

“’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. 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.”

Tangredi said that many of the 14 cast members play at least three parts. The second part of the play will be presented 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.”

Performances for the first half are scheduled for 7 p.m. March 4, 5, 11 and 12; 11 a.m. March 10 and 2 p.m. March 13. The 7 p.m. March 12 performance will be sign language interpreted. Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center is located at 12000 S.W. 49th Ave., Portland.

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