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Disgraced: A Play

Disgraced: A Play
Your Price: $22.95 CDN
Author: Ayad Akhtar
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 2013
ISBN-10: 0316324469
ISBN-13: 9780316324465
Cast Size: 2 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Disgraced has long been a favourite of acting teachers for female/female scenes, female/male scenes, and male/male scenes.

Disgraced is a full-length drama by Ayad Akhtar. Amir is a successful lawyer living a version of the American Dream, who has distanced himself from his cultural roots. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the story of how his world and identity fall apart when a co-worker and her husband come to dinner. What begins as polite table conversation explodes, leaving everyone's relationships and beliefs about race and identity in shards.

Disgraced exposes the stories we tell our friends, the secrets we tell our lovers, and the lies we tell ourselves. Amir Kapoor is a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder. Born in the United States, he has turned his back on the Muslim faith of his parents. Amir and his wife, Emily – a white artist influenced by Islamic imagery – are enjoying their comfortable life on New York's Upper East Side. When the couple hosts a dinner party for Amir's rising African-American colleague and her Jewish husband, the evening gives way to a searing debate about race, privilege, politics and identity, taken on from a variety of cultural perspectives. Marriage, friendships, ambition, religion, race, art and power: nothing is off-limits in this riveting drama. Tense, surprising and shockingly funny, Disgraced will hold audiences on the edge of their seats, and promote meaningful conversation long after the lights come up.

Disgraced premiered in 2012 at the American Theater Company in Chicago, was followed by a sell-out run at the Lincoln Center Theater 3 in New York, and its UK premiere at the Bush Theater in London in 2013. Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and been performed in regional and college theatre productions.

Cast: 2 female, 3 male

What people say:

"…a continuously engaging, vitally engaged play about thorny questions of identity and religion in the contemporary world, with an accent on the incendiary topic of how radical Islam and the terrorism it inspires have affected the public discourse. In dialogue that bristles with wit and intelligence, Mr. Akhtar…puts contemporary attitudes toward religion under a microscope, revealing how tenuous self-image can be for people born into one way of being who have embraced another…Mr. Akhtar's cut-crystal dialogue is so stimulating. Everyone has been told that politics and religion are two subjects that should be off limits at social gatherings. But watching Mr. Akhtar's characters rip into these forbidden topics, there's no arguing that they make for ear-tickling good theater." — New York Times

"…blistering social drama about the racial prejudices that secretly persist in progressive cultural circles… Akhtar knows how to build a scene and maintain suspense, so there's a sense of inevitability about the damage that's done over the course of the evening. But because of the artful construction, it still comes as a shock when the two couples go into attack mode." — Variety

"Disgraced is an urgent, relevant play and worthy winner of 2013's Pulitzer Prize for drama." — The Telegraph

"Ayad Akhtar's tough and compelling Pulitzer prizewinner puts racial politics in the dock." — The Guardian

"What makes Disgraced impressive is that Akhtar, having invented four educated, intelligent adult characters, lets the burgeoning mess articulate itself through their interaction…you rarely feel the playwright nudging them in the right direction." — Village Voice

About the Playwright:

Ayad Akhtar is a Pakistani American playwright, novelist, screenwriter who was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing. His play Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He is also the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two OBIE Awards, a Jeff Award, and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award.

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