BATS Improv presents: Improvised Arabian Nights

BATS Bayfront Theatre - Shows

2 Marina Blvd Bldg B Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123

From $5.00

Sat, June 15th, 2024 @ 8:00PM PDT (multiple times available)

BATS Improv, San Francisco's premier center for improvisation, will partner with Zawaya, the Bay Area's Arabic music community ensemble, to present Improvised Arabian Nights at the historic Bayfront Theater on the Fort Mason campus in San Francisco. Directed by Basel Al-Naffouri, with improvised music provided by musicians from the Aswat Ensemble, this unique take on the beloved tales spun by Scheherazade during the Thousand and One Nights appears on Saturday evenings at 8 pm from June 1 through July 27. 

Improvised Arabian Nights was created by BATS Company member Basel Al-Naffouri in 2009 and had its premiere at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. It has since appeared as part of the Theatresports Institute Conference in Dubai in 2017 and most recently in a return engagement at BATS in 2022.

Starting with a title provided by the audience, two players, playing the ruler Shahryar and his wife Scheherazade, take the stage and Scheherazade begins to tell him a story. Everything is improvised: The players create and act out the stories in the moment without prior knowledge of who their characters are, what they will say, or what will happen next. Director Al-Naffouri has familiarized the players with the elements of the Arabian Nights folktales including character types, settings, and other typical story conventions.  

From its beginning, Improvised Arabian Nights has enjoyed the generous support of Zawaya which has provided costumes, sets, promotion, and musicians from the Aswat Ensemble. Founded in 2003, Zawaya is a non-profit organization that seeks to contribute to the Bay Area's multicultural discourse by supporting Arab arts. The Aswat Ensemble, the Bay Area's premier Arabic music community ensemble is a multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multi-generational music ensemble and volunteer choir that reaches out to the diverse Bay Area community with folkloric, classical, and contemporary Arabic music.

Watch the trailer HERE

BATS performances are all ages may contain adult situations and adult language. Then again...they may not. It's all made up on the spot, so we never know beforehand! Please be aware that younger audience members might be instruduced to some new words or situations during the performance.

Genre: adventure, drama


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BATS Bayfront Theatre - Shows
2 Marina Blvd Bldg B Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 474-6776