4m, 2f to play multiple roles / Dramatic Comedy
The cuckolded King Shahriyar is marrying a new bride every night and beheading her the next morning. As unrest spreads in the Sultanate, his vizier's daughter Scheherezade hatches a plan: she will offer herself as a bride and seduce the king with stories that leave him hanging on every word. She weaves such tales as "Sindbad the Sailor" and "Alaeddin and His Magic Lamp" with stories of Borges, Flaubert, and Alan and Dahna -- a Jewish man and an Arab woman who have fallen in love in millennial New York City. Shahriyar becomes Alan and Scheherezade becomes Dahna as the worlds mingle and inform one another. Modern speech invades the fantasy tales, and swords and genii appear in the 21st Century, in a dance of cultures and people who are forever intertwined.
"[An] explosive, often brilliant work about America, narrative, the Middle East and identity."- Time Out New York
"...funny, moving, postmodernist-in-a-good-way... Like Scheherazade's tales, 1001 is endlessly compelling, and also endless (again, in a good way)..."- Boston Globe
"Jason Grote is one of a generation of brainy new American dramatists - including Tracy Letts and Will Eno - who understand that to reach new audiences, political theater needs to move beyond moral indignation and outrage, past spoon-feeding an attitude. One key to going forward is looking backward into literature, fable and allegory." - LA Weekly
"...a wild and beautiful glimpse at the yarns that shape our lives...Even if it isn't always true, the story we keep telling -- about the power of love, violence, and death -- is a comfort. Grote tackles that concept with gripping imagination, achieving a cosmic scope by eliminating the barriers between worlds." - Variety
"Grote's Orientalist fantasia...conjures a storybook world that dissolves, at a moment's notice, into an apocalyptic, 21st-century landscape. Where to begin to describe this seductive if smartalecky, nonlinear play? ...[ 1001] doesn't preach, and it doesn't underestimate the audience's intelligence." - Washington Post