By Carolyn Solar |Staff Writer|
“The Arabian Nights” play, directed by Kathryn Ervin, made its way to the Palm Desert Campus for its final two performances on April 9 and 10.
The set was decorated with several carpets covering the floor, jeweled pillows, treasure chests, twinkling lights resembling the night sky, and yellow curtains to create the Arabian theme.
The play is about a young maiden, Scheherazade, who is forced into a marriage with the cruel ruler, Shahryar.
The heartbroken Shahryar has been known to kill his brides in an act of revenge after marrying each wife.
Scheherazade begins telling stories of love, lust, comedy and sacrifice to her husband in an attempt to save her own life.
Scheherazade narrated the stories from the side of the stage while the acting was done before the audience.
References made to the Arabian culture, like religion, struck me the most; I noticed “Allah” being mentioned and even a reference to “Ramadan.”
The play stayed very true to the culture and the time frame. One story even mentioned the Quran and specific aspects to the holy book.
All of the characters played a significant role in the play and seemed to connect very well with one another.
Myranda Agueros (Scheherazade) and Kendall McGraw (Shahryar) did an amazing job at interacting with each other.
The story telling done by Agueras was both emotional and comical and both actors seemed to show passion in their roles.
One of the most memorable scenes for me took place in the first act, which features a man who falls in love with a woman and begs for her hand in marriage, only to find she is actually a hideous beast.
She is described as “bald and scabby,” with “one blind eye,” and “the most nauseating of all disgusts.” The man now wants to escape this marriage.
Some students in attendance were actually students who had never attended a CSUSB play before.
For student George Cornejo, this was the first of many theatre arts performances that he will be attending.
“I was actually surprised with how well the whole thing was put together. The set was really colorful and the costumes were great. This seemed very well planned and put together,” said Cornejo.
For others, any performance at the Palm Desert Campus is a pleasure.
“(At PDC) I feel like I don’t really play a part in the campus community, so to be able to attend events when they do come to our campus is always exciting,” said student Liz Gutierrez.
“They did an amazing job and I look forward to more performances in the future,” continued Gutierrez.
The next play is called “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and will make its way to the Barnes Theatre on June 3, 2016.
This play is said to be bigger and better than previous ones, and for the student price of $6, I would recommend that all my fellow ‘yotes check out the Theatre Arts department online at theatre.csusb.edu for tickets to the next play.