AYAD AKHTAR DISGRACED PDF

As two couples exchange observations about faith and politics in the modern world, the intellectual thickets they find themselves in become increasingly tangled. The language grows more testy, tempers begin to flare, and you have the unsettling sense that someone is going to lose his or her balance and take a hard fall. The players are a quartet of accomplished New Yorkers of differing races, creeds and, yes, colors, although they have all arrived at the same high plateau of worldly achievement and can agree on the important things, like the tastiness of the fennel and anchovy salad and the banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery. What they cannot agree on — and what will ultimately tear apart at least one of the relationships in the play — is who they really are and what they stand for, once the veneer of civilized achievement has been scraped away to reveal more atavistic urges. In dialogue that bristles with wit and intelligence, Mr.

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Talk to me a little about your observations about a British audience confronting Disgraced here at the Bush Theatre. In New York there was a similar intensity, but it was not enthusiasm. It was a kind of quiet, a deep, alive sadness, something much more recognizable as a response to tragedy. What have your conversations been like with the audience members at the end of the show?

There have been two kinds of reactions. One of the issues I was continually having with Disgraced over the last couple of years was the transition out of Scene 3 into Scene 4. After the intensity of the events in the third scene, the audience was still very much with the act of violence. So there was this kind of long speed bump, during which I felt audience members shifting in their seats. It seemed to me if there were a way to bridge that more viscerally, we could get right to the meat of that fourth scene without that hiccup.

Your questions and suggestions opened up the possibility of Abe coming in at the end of the third scene and Emily and Abe showing up at the beginning of the fourth. This solved it for me. Let us for a moment talk about the violence in the play that is perpetrated by Amir upon his wife Emily. What does that moment mean? Well, I want it to mean many different things. But there are so many other levels, too.

In that respect it is drawing on a tradition of representation I was very consciously in relationship to, at least in my own head. Shakespeare and V. Naipaul and William Faulkner. I wanted that act of violence to be in dialogue with similar acts of violence defined by that lineage. And so the question becomes, well, what is the reading of this play? My contention is that your reading of this play tells you a lot about yourself.

A hypothetical question, but one I feel duty-bound to ask: What would the play become if it did not have the violence we witness between Amir and Emily? That scene could occur with Amir walking out and leaving Emily standing alone in that space. What does that version of the play look like? Well, I think that play is much more concordant with contemporary dramaturgical practice.

I wanted to engage the audience in a way that was much more fundamental. I feel drawing on melodrama, potboiler, romantic thriller, situation comedy—all of those things offer the audience a way to relate to the play not as an object of art but as an experience.

In the past 48 hours we have been inundated with some across-the-board strong reviews from our newspapers. What has that made you think? It makes perfect sense to me that people would gravitate to whatever reading is going to help them. I want to give you an example. Or on another level we could say she has dropped to another state of reflection about where the world is. But what it can do is change the way we see things individually. I aspired to accomplish with this structure a kind of shattering of the audience, after which they have to find some way to put themselves back together.

The only way we can change the world is by recognizing what it is that we are now. I can imagine young Muslims who encounter this play are surprised by the character of Amir. Not necessarily by what he says, because we are confronted by that shit every day. What are the thoughts that you leave young Muslims with after this play?

What I would say is the concussive impact of its very economical 90 minutes belies a complexity of design on a metaphorical level. The play begins with a Western consciousness representing a Muslim subject. The play ends with the Muslim subject observing the fruits of that representation.

In between the two points lies a journey, and that journey has to do with the ways in which we Muslims are still beholden on an ontological level to the ways in which the West is seeing us. And what the play might be suggesting is we are still stuck there. And that being stuck there, this is what we are living in and with, and these are our options. So the play ends with Amir finally confronting that image.

I do believe personally that the Muslim world has got to fully account for the image the West has of it and move on. Previously he was the artistic director at Freedom Studios in Bradford, England. ADV — Leaderboard. You re-crafted Scene 4 for this production. What it is, I hope, is an access point to a state of presence.

For the characters, is there hope at the end of the play? Share this: Print. ADV — Billboard.

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Talk to me a little about your observations about a British audience confronting Disgraced here at the Bush Theatre. In New York there was a similar intensity, but it was not enthusiasm. It was a kind of quiet, a deep, alive sadness, something much more recognizable as a response to tragedy. What have your conversations been like with the audience members at the end of the show?

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Disgraced is a play by novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar. It is Akhtar's first stage play. The play is centered on sociopolitical themes such as Islamophobia and the self-identity of Muslim-American citizens. As discussion turns to politics and religion, the mood quickly becomes heated. Described as a "combustible powder keg of identity politics," [6] the play depicts racial and ethnic prejudices that "secretly persist in even the most progressive cultural circles. 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'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, [8] leading Amir to question whether it is religious persecution.

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