This may be the longest all-night bedtime story ever told. Inspired by the classic Tales of the Arabian Nights, the storytelling begins at midnight and continues until dawn, with never-ending tales that explore the relationship between a story, its storyteller, and its audience. Hysteria, absurd vulgarity and surprising tenderness combine to result in a constantly mutating story that encapsulates all the stories of the world.

This piece is recommended for ages 12+

5 reasons you won’t want to miss this all-night storytelling event:

  • Lyn Gardner, writing in The Guardian, has said that Forced Entertainment is “one of the greatest British theatrical exports of the past 20 years … It is their ability to smash through the pretenses of theatre that has kept the company ahead of the game.”
  • This kick-off to NYU Skirball’s 18-19 season is a celebration of the art and magic of storytelling, and a ritual return to the power and importance of sharing theatrical spaces.
  • Over the course of the performance, the main rule for the performers is that no story is ever allowed to finish, since any performer who is speaking may be interrupted at any moment by another player, who’ll use the word “stop” to halt the narrative and claim the stage for their own story.
  • You needn’t be in attendance when the performance starts, and throughout the performance you can come and go as you please. You can even slip out for a bite/drink/coffee/nap and return as often as you like.
  • You’ll be out just in time to see the sunrise.
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Forced Entertainment is a U.K.-based theater company founded in 1984. Touring and presenting their ground-breaking, provocative performances across the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world, the group has sustained a unique, collaborative practice for more than thirty years, producing work that explores and often explodes the conventions of genre, narrative and theater itself, drawing influence not just from drama but from dance, performance art, music culture and popular forms such as cabaret and stand-up.

This project is made possible with support from the British Council.

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Photo Credit: Hugo Glendinning
Photo Credit: Hugo Glendinning
Photo Credit: Hugo Glendinning
Photo Credit: Hugo Glendinning
And on the Thousandth Night....
A clip from Forced Entertainment's durational storytelling piece And on the Thousandth Night... | Videography Credit: Hugo Glendinning

Go Beyond

Una Chaudhuri

We’re absorbed, amused, bemused, bewildered, bored, a thousand and one other things.

Program Note: Liveness, Language and the Moment

It’s the playfulness that defines “And on the Thousandth Night…”