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“FUNNY! A provocative look at faith and family.”WGBH
“Sharply written...with both wit and tenderness.”WBUR
“Seriously funny! Moving and very human. Don't miss it!”Boxing Over Broadway
“A play to cherish! This quartet of actors is a marvel.”South Shore Critic

Brilliant novelist Zarina is writing about women and Islam when she meets Eli, a young convert who bridges the gap between her modern life and traditional heritage. When her conservative father discovers her controversial manuscript, they all must confront the beliefs that define them. A fierce and funny new play about relationships, religion, and the contradictions that make us who we are, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the blockbuster hit Disgraced.

Approximate run time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, including one 10-minute intermission.



“I am so excited to share the loving and thorny tale of Zarina’s family with Boston audiences. Disgraced at the Huntington was a very gratifying experience for me, and I am so honored this play will be part of next season.” — Ayad Akhtar

“After last season’s provocative hit Disgraced I am looking forward to having another story by Ayad Akhtar brought to life on our stage. The Who & the What provides a unique, vitally important look into the Muslim American experience through the lens of faith and family.”— Peter DuBois

Video

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  • The Who & the What Trailer

    "SMART & SHARP!" "Seriously funny!" See why critics are saying this "provocative look at faith & family" is "moving and very human."

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  • The Who & the What Audience Reviews

    "Thought-provoking." "Timely." "Universal." Boston audiences are moved by The Who & the What. Hear why they are saying this play will "stay with you long after you leave the theatre."

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  • The Who & the What Behind the Scenes

    Director M. Bevin O'Gara and cast members share their perspectives on The Who & the What from inside the rehearsal hall.They discuss what makes this play about family and faith so universal.

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Photos

Articles

  • "The Who & The What" explores the dynamics of a Muslim family

    Ayad Akhtar’s provocative Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, which centers on a dinner party that erupts into discord, recrimination, and violence, struck Huntington Theatre Company audiences last year with the concussive force of a 2-by-4 to the head. The drama, the most produced play at American regional theaters in the 2015-16 season, grappled with thorny questions about the treatment of Muslims and their identity in the post-9/11 world. It sparked heated post-show discussions, with upward of 100 people attending talkbacks at the Huntington some nights.

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  • A Message from Artistic Director Peter DuBois

    Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois addresses the timeliness of The Who & the What.

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  • E Pluribus Unum

    Apart from Native Americans, every family in this country arrived here from someplace else. Every immigrant group that has come to America has played out these familial tensions in domestic tragicomedy, whether on stage, film, radio, or TV. New arrivals have played out, from every conceivable angle, the story of their search for identity in their new homeland, “the melting pot where nothing melted,” as the Rabbi in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America describes it. Ayad Akhtar’s The Who & the What adds another tasty morsel to the American stew.

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  • Ayad Akhtar: An American Writer

    For those familiar with Ayad Akhtar’s play Disgraced, his play The Who & the What, a bittersweet drama about family, love, and the Prophet Muhammad, will come as a surprise. How Ayad Akhtar came to possess that generous perspective and to write several trenchant, diverse American plays is a long and surprising story.

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  • Women & Islam

    We have collected quotes from prominent Islamic scholars on the topics of Islamic feminism and the tensions between the absolute spiritual equality between men and women in Islam and the social and political realities of gender inequality worldwide.

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  • The Who & the What  Curtain Calls

    Enjoy a series of brief interviews with The Who & the What cast members Joseph Marrella (Eli), Turna Mete (Mahwish), and Aila Peck (Zarina).

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Press Reviews

“FUNNY! A provocative look at faith and family.”WGBH
“Sharply written...with both wit and tenderness.”WBUR
“Seriously funny! Moving and very human. Don't miss it!”Boxing Over Broadway
“A play to cherish! This quartet of actors is a marvel.”South Shore Critic
“A vibrant culture-clash drama simmering with humor.”Associated Press
More Reviews

Artists

Prices & Seating

Performance Day All Sections

PEAK: Friday & Saturday evening;  Sunday matinee

$85
OFF PEAK: Sunday - Thursday evening; Saturday matinee $75
FIRST LOOK: First Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Tuesday evening;  Wednesday matinee $63

Prices may vary and are subject to change at any time.

View Seating Chart (Virginia Wimberly Theatre)  |  Get Directions

Discount Ticket Prices

  Prices
Active Military and Veterans and Immediate Families
$20 with promo code MILITARY
Student (25 years and younger)
(No AA)
$20
Section D (Huntington Avenue Theatre);
Last Row (Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA)
Additional discounts may not be applied to section D seats at the Huntington Avenue Theatre and last row seats at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
$25
BU Community $10 off with promo code BU10
Seniors (65 years or older) $5 off
35 Below (35 years and younger)
(No AA)
Learn more about our 35 Below program
$30

Learn more about our Discount Ticket Programs.

Performance Day All Sections

PEAK: Friday & Saturday evening;  Sunday matinee

$85
OFF PEAK: Sunday - Thursday evening; Saturday matinee $75
FIRST LOOK: First Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Tuesday evening;  Wednesday matinee $63

Prices may vary and are subject to change at any time.

View Seating Chart (Virginia Wimberly Theatre)  |  Get Directions

Discount Ticket Prices

  Prices
Active Military and Veterans and Immediate Families
$20 with promo code MILITARY
Student (25 years and younger)
(No AA)
$20
Section D (Huntington Avenue Theatre);
Last Row (Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA)
Additional discounts may not be applied to section D seats at the Huntington Avenue Theatre and last row seats at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
$25
BU Community $10 off with promo code BU10
Seniors (65 years or older) $5 off
35 Below (35 years and younger)
(No AA)
Learn more about our 35 Below program
$30

Learn more about our Discount Ticket Programs.

Seatmap

Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 | BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800

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