Streetcar and Arabian Nights to Hit the Stage this Spring
Last spring, the Milton Academy Theater department dazzled students and faculty alike with one of the biggest productions in the school’s history, Chicago. While this year’s spring productions may not be musical spectacles, directors Shane Fuller and Peter Parisi both promise spring theatergoers artistic, thought provoking, and thoroughly entertaining productions of two straight plays: The Arabian Nights and A Streetcar Named Desire.
Parisi will direct Streetcar, the spring 1212 show. Over the past few years, Parisi has moved audiences and pushed boundaries with his small, edgy, and stunning 1212 productions such as Doubt (2009) and Wonder of the World (2011). Initially, Parisi hoped to direct Good Boys and True, an ambitious play chronicling the events that unravel at a private boys’ school after the release of a student-made sex tape.
Midway through the audition process, however, Parisi switched gears to cast Streetcar instead. Written in 1947 by Tennessee Williams, the classic Southern drama was made into a film starring Marlon Brando in 1951 and has since captivated audiences on and off Broadway. Clare Dingle will star as Blanche DuBois, a tradition-bound and materialistic Southern belle whose reality is shattered after she moves in with her sister and macho, tough-as-nails brother-in-law. Both Parisi and the cast are excited to make the classic show their own on the Milton stage.
Mr. Fuller describes the main stage production, Arabian Nights, as a tribute to “The power of storytelling.” The eight-person show is based on the classic text “1001 Arabian Nights,” which follows the quest of a young woman, Scheherazade, to evade death and overcome a masochistic king by telling eloquent stories. Fuller, who teaches the Arts Program’s film course Moving Image in addition to Drama, is known for innovative shows that appeal to the visual as the emotional.
In past productions “The Odyssey” (2008) and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” (2009) Fuller used the technical aspects of the theater to transform traditional scripts into enthralling avant-garde productions. With Arabian Nights, Fuller aims to yet again give new life to a traditional story with a strong cast including Cary Williams (I), Johanna Ebers (II), Osaremen Okolo (II), and a determined tech team.
The two shows were cast last week and are scheduled to open mid-May. Yet while much work will take place between now and opening night, the shows already look promising. I would encourage all students to congratulate the actors on their roles, and to attend the performances later this spring.
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