by  Jason Grote

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 2f

"[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,…

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    Cast Size

    4m, 2f

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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 Scheherazade 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 "Sinbad the Sailor" and "Aladdin 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 Scheherazade 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.
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"[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

"There once was, praise Allah, a Jason Grote. This Grote lived in the utmost wilderness (a/k/a Brooklyn) where he read many authors - Benjamin, Said, Borges, Gramsci - and watched many videos - Vertigo, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Thriller. One day, he combined these various influences into a play, loosely based on Sir Richard Burton's Arabian Nights. Grote called this play 1001."- Village Voice

"In Jason Grote's kaleidoscopic reinvention of the "1001 Nights" tales, [Scheherezade] morphs into Dahna, a contemporary Palestinian graduate student in New York, just as Scheherazade's husband, the wife-killing Shahriyar, becomes Dahna's Jewish boyfriend, Alan, and her sister Dunyazade becomes Dahna's sister, Lubna. Moving fluently back and forth from the "Arabian Nights" of legend (complete with jeweled turbans and scimitars) to New York in a dusty, apocalyptic near-future, these stories within stories come to include Flaubert during his wild-oats days in Egypt and even a cameo appearance by Jorge Luis Borges, the master of labyrinthine fictions." - New York Times

"The first production to come out of Denver Center Theatre Company's New Play Summit is a riot of ideas, experiences and influences... 1001 brings forth a thrilling night in the theater, one in which the senses and the mind race..." - Rocky Moutain News



  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Setting: Various, respresented minimally. Intended as a trunk show.


4m, 2f

A - Female, 20s/early 30s, Middle Eastern. Plays SCHEHERAZADE and DAHNA

B - Male, 30s-40s, any ethnicity (diversity STRONGLY encouraged). Plays THE ONE-EYED ARAB, JUML'S MASTER, MOSTAFA, A SLAVE, SINDBAD, VOICE OF ALAN DERSHOWITZ, and the DJINNC

C - Male, 20's/30's, Caucasian, plays SHAHRIYAR and ALAN.

D - Female, 20's/30's, any ethnicity (diversity STRONGLY encouraged). Plays THE VIRGIN BRIDE, DUNYAZADE, THE PRINCESS MARIDAH, JUML, KUCHUK HANEM, and LUBNA.

E - Male, 30's-40's, any ethnicity (diversity STRONGLY encouraged). Plays JORGE LUIS BORGES, THE EMIR GHASSAN, THE HORRIBLE MONSTER, OSAMA BIN LADEN, and WAZIR.


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Casting Notes

Intended for six actors to play all the roles.




Jason Grote

Jason Grote's plays 1001 and Maria/Stuart are currently available from Samuel French. Other plays include This Storm is What We Call Progress, Hamilton Township, Box Americana, Darwin's Challenge, and Civilization. His plays have been produced and developed by Sundance, The O'Neill, The Denver Center, Woolly Mammoth, C ...

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Denver Center Theater in 2007 directed by Ethan McSweeny

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