SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Become spellbound as Scheherezade weaves her magical tale for 1001 nights, transporting the seductive sights and sounds of medieval Persia to the Academy for Performing Arts’ Blackbox Theater this month. Combining music, movement, and ancient mystique, just a handful of APA’s aspiring performers will transform themselves into almost four dozen characters who sing, dance, and tell their stories.

Written by Mary Zimmerman, “The Arabian Nights” is directed by veteran director and theater teacher Kathleen Aiellos (“Arsenic and Old Lace,” “The Pajama Game,” “Almost Maine,” “Aladdin”), who has lent her talents to straight plays and musical theater in community and off-Broadway productions in addition to APA’s. 

“The Arabian Nights is a powerful example of storytelling and the beauty of collaboration in the theatre,” says Aiellos. “The play utilizes a variety of disciplines including dance, live music, physical theatre, monologue, and ensemble-based storytelling. I believe that the combination of all of these disciplines has a tremendously powerful empathetic effect on an audience and certainly helps to stretch the actors.”

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Aiellos continues, “This play is no ordinary production; [it is] a magical world created by the actors and musicians. It is a space where stories unfold and magic happens. The healing powers of storytelling are the foundation of this show and through human connection and community, King Shahryar just might find peace and love after all.”

Production dates are:

  • Thursday, Nov. 21st
  • Friday, Nov. 22nd, and
  • Saturday, Nov. 23rd at 7 pm, with a matinee on Saturday, Nov. 23rd at 2 pm.

Tickets for this event can be purchased at or at the door.  All tickets are $10 and general admission. Please contact Randy Bobish at 908-889-8288, x716 or at for more information.