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Ran May 31 - July 10, 2005

NOTE: Arabian Night contains full frontal nudity
and some pretty chaotic situations.

On a hot summer night in a Berlin apartment house, the mythic and unexpected nightmares of five tenants twist into a dreamscape that is part fantasy and part urban thriller. The world of Arabian Night, a play by up and coming German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig, is described in spare and provoking terms, and rather than being overly philosophical, keeps us grasping onto the experiential details of everyday life and the easy tendency these details have to morph into the surreality of dreams. Arabian Night previews on Tuesday, May 31st and Wednesday, June 1st, Opens Thursday, June 2nd and runs Thursday - Sunday at 8pm until July 3rd, at The Ashby Stage in Berkeley.

The structure of Arabian Night is essentially a series of deftly intercut monologues written in a style more like prose or poetry than dialogue. Actions and settings are spoken by the actors in the moment of their occurrence, describing not only what has happened, but all that is seen, what is felt, and what is about to occur. With so many alternate realities created and lived within the same plane, it is all too easy to go missing in the turbulent dream, and these layered discourses work as guides to the private inner minds of each character.

Director Andrea Weber is not unfamiliar with this reflective style, having worked as a choreographer and movement director for several Word for Word productions, a San Francisco based theater company that theatricalizes short stories verbatim from the original text. Ms. Weber brings a strong choreographic stylization to the staging of Arabian Night which, supported by projected images of local digital artist Melanie Hoffman and sound design by Daniel Bruno, create the fluid and phantasmagoric trance world of the play.

Shotgun’s production of Arabian Night presents a rare opportunity for Bay Area audiences to see the work of one of Europe’s hottest new playwrights. Roland Schimmelpfennig, born in 1967, has an impressive list of literary accomplishments that put him on the cutting edge of new theater.

Having first worked as a freelance journalist and author in Istanbul, Schimmelpfennig began his studies in the theater in 1990 at Munich’s Otto Falkenberg School. He quickly gained a reputation as a brilliant young author with award winning works such as Fisch um Fisch, Push Up, and Before and After. Arabian Night premiered in Stuttgart at the Staatstheater in February 2001 and has since been staged in Switzerland, Austria, Australia, the UK and throughout Germany. The Shotgun Players production of the play utilizes a superb translation by British dramaturg David Tushingham. This production marks the first time Tushingham’s translation of the play is seen in the United States and is the West Coast premiere of any Schimmelpfennig play.

Shotgun Players production of Arabian Night will be directed by Shotgun Company Member Andrea Weber. The cast features Shotgun company member Richard Louis James (Quills, Death of Meyerhold, Play About the Baby), as well as Christina Kramlich, Carla Pantoja, Benjamin Privitt (Death of Meyerhold), and Roham Shaikhani (Mother Courage, Oedipus Rex) Shotgun Company members Valera Coble will design costumes and Daniel Bruno will design sound. Melanie Hofmann will create digital projections, Alf Pollard will design the set and Rob Anderson will design the lighting.




"Farce Meets Freud in 'Arabian Night'"
Read Review >>

"Shotgun offers dizzying 'Arabian Night'"
Read Review >>

"Audacious, funny, sometimes brutal"
Read Review >>

"Shotgun’s Exotic Exploration of an Apartment Block"
Read Review >>

Media - Click the image
for Hi-Res



Richard James


Christina Kramlich


Carla Pantoja


Benjamin Privitt


Roham Shaikhani





Alf Pollard

Set Design

Andrea Weber


Daniel Bruno

Sound Design

John Malmquist

Graphic Design

Kasia Newman

Stage Manager

Liz Lisle

Production Manager

Melanie Hofmann

Digital Artist

Patrick Dooley

Artistic Director

Rob Anderson

Light Design

Trish Mulholland

Assistant Director

Valera Coble

Costume Design

Desert Photos
by Katie Warshaw



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