ON STAGE NOW!
by Ayad Akhtar
Disgraced is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York
Stand Up For... Theatre is pleased to present two performances in collaboration with:
The Howard County Maryland Executive Calvin Ball
The Howard County Maryland Office of Human Rights and Equity
NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
The Chrysalis at Merriweather Post Pavilion
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044
FREE Tickets are available at EventBrite.COM
Disgraced is a 2012 play by novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar. It premiered in Chicago and has had Off-Broadway and Off West End engagements. The play, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater October 23, 2014. Disgraced has also been recognized with a 2012 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work – Play or Musical and a 2013 Obie Award for Playwriting. It is Akhtar's first stage play. The 2014 Broadway transfer earned a Tony Award for Best Play nomination in 2015.
The play is centered on sociopolitical themes such as Islamophobia and the self-identity of Muslim-American citizens. It focuses on a dinner party between four people with very different backgrounds. As discussion turns to politics and religion, the mood quickly becomes heated. Described as a "combustible powder keg of identity politics," the play depicts racial and ethnic prejudices that "secretly persist in even the most progressive cultural circles." It is also said to depict the challenge for upwardly mobile Muslim Americans in the post-9/11 America. Productions have included performances by Aasif Mandvi and Erik Jensen.
Plot: In the 90-minute, one-act play, lawyer Amir Kapoor and his wife Emily host an Upper East Side dinner. Amir is an American-born, Muslim-raised Manhattan mergers and acquisitions lawyer, while Emily is an up-and-coming artist who focuses on Islamic themes in her art. Amir has cast aside his Muslim heritage for the sake of his career and serves as Emily's muse, who has an affinity for Islamic artistic traditions. Prior to the dinner, Amir, who is on the partner track, becomes involved in a controversial case. Amir's assimilated nephew, Abe (born Hussein Malik), has concerns regarding the propriety of the arrest of a local imam who is imprisoned on charges that may be trumped-up of financing terrorist-supporting groups, leading Amir to question whether it is religious persecution. Emily encourages the reluctant Amir to appear in court in support of the imam, in an unofficial capacity that gets mentioned in The New York Times. The case becomes dinner conversation when he hosts Jory, a colleague from work, and her husband, Isaac, who is Emily's Jewish art dealer. In all, the dinner table assembly includes an ex-Muslim, an African-American, a Jew and a WASP dining over the topic of religious faith. The conversation touches upon "Islamic and Judaic tradition, the Quran and the Talmud, racial profiling and September 11 and the Taliban and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Benjamin Netanyahu" as tensions mount. When Amir admits he felt a "blush of pride" on September 11, and holds secret animosity toward Israel, his friends are disgusted. Jory and Amir leave the apartment to get a bottle of champagne. It is revealed that Isaac and Emily have had an affair in the past, and that he is secretly in love with her. Jory and Amir return just as Isaac is about to kiss Emily. It is revealed that Jory has been selected as partner in the law firm over Amir, in part because of his presence at the imam's trial, and in a rage Amir discredits Jory using an ethnic slur. Jory and Isaac depart, the status of their relationship is uncertain after Isaac's infidelity has been revealed. Emily confesses her affair with Isaac and Amir beats her. Abe stumbles into the apartment and finds him standing over her. The play jumps ahead a period of time. Amir is packing his belongings and preparing to leave the apartment. Emily brings Abe over for legal advice. He was questioned by the FBI after his friend expressed a Jihadist sentiment at a Starbucks. Amir warns Abe to be more cautious, but Abe flies into a fit of rage, saying that the West has "disgraced" Islam, but that they will take it all back one day. He storms out. Amir tries to reconcile with Emily, but she leaves... _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
DISGRACED was developed in part at the New Writers New Plays residency at Vineyard Arts Project (Ashley Melone, Founder and Artistic Director).
DISGRACED had its World Premiere in January 2012 at American Theater Company, Chicago, Illinois (PJ Paparelli, Artistic Director).
New York Premiere produced by Lincoln Center Theater, New York City, 2012.
Original Broadway Production produced by The Araca Group, Lincoln Center Theater, Jenifer Evans, Amanda Watkins, Richard Winkler, Rodger Hess, Stephanie P. Mcclelland, Tulchin/Bartner Productions, Jessica Genick, Jonathan Reinis, Carl Levin/Ashley De Simone/TNTDynaMite Productions, Alden Bergson/Rachel Weinstein, Greenleaf Productions, Darren Deverna/Jere Harris, The Shubert Organization, and The David Merrick Arts Foundation.