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PULITZER PRIZE WINNER & RIVETING BROADWAY HIT DISGRACED BY AYAD AKHTAR, DIRECTED BY GORDON EDELSTEIN BEGINS FRIDAY, JANUARY 8 AT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY

(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company, in association with Long Wharf Theatre, will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced by award-winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar and directed by Gordon Edelstein. Performances begin Friday, January 8 and continue through February 7, 2016 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.

“This provocative Pulitzer Prize winner is a vitally topical look at modern Muslim American identity,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Long Wharf Theatre Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein brings depth and precision to this timely new play. This is a must-see production.”

In Disgraced, high-powered New York lawyer Amir has climbed the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his Muslim roots. When he and his wife Emily host a dinner party, what starts as a friendly conversation escalates, shattering their views on race, religion, and each other. The Hartford Courant says Edelstein’s Disgraced is “a compelling production of the acclaimed new play that should be at the top of anyone’s theatregoing list.” Hollywood Reporter says Disgraced is, “Smart, spiky entertainment…A stimulating, sobering work from a distinctive new American playwright.”

“One of the most significant themes of the past 20 years in Western culture is the confrontation of Judeo-Christianity with Islam,” says Director Gordon Edelstein. “This is a play that deals face to face with the cost of assimilation – what do you lose when you are part of a minority culture and your goal is to assimilate fully into the dominant culture.”

“Amir represents a fundamental tension: He is somebody who has been brought up in one direction and is working consciously as an agent of the enlightenment in the opposite direction,” says Playwright Ayad Akhtar in an interview with Broadway Direct. “Everyone at the table has this tension, and when push comes to shove, things devolve to a point where the tribal fealties reveal themselves, basically, in everyone’s character.”

Disgraced is being produced at 10 major American regional theatres this season and will be produced across the United States 32 times over the next two years, as well as several productions overseas. A film version of the play is also in the works with HBO.

The production is supported by Huntington Season Sponsors Carol G. Deane and J. David Wimberly and Production Co-Sponsor Carol Langer.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

The cast includes Rajesh Bose (Disgraced at PlayMakers Repertory Company and Indian Ink at Roundabout Theatre Company) as the Wall Street lawyer Amir. Emily, an artist and Amir’s idealistic wife, is played by Nicole Lowrance (The Merchant of Venice at Royal Shakespeare Company). Isaac, a Jewish art curator who is featuring Emily’s art in a new show, is played by Benim Foster (Barefoot in the Park on Broadway). His wife Jory, an African-American lawyer at Amir’s firm, is played by Shirine Babb (Macbeth with Ethan Hawke on Broadway). Amir’s nephew Abe is played by Mohit Gautam (Over Here at the New York Fringe Festival).

Ayad Akhtar’s (Playwright) plays include Disgraced (Broadway, LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, American Theatre Company, Bush Theatre; 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama/2013 Obie Award for Extraordinary Achievement/2013 Jeff Award for New Work), The Who & the What (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and La Jolla Playhouse), and The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop/The Repertory Theater of St. Louis). Also a novelist, Mr. Akhtar is the author of American Dervish, published in 2012 by Little, Brown and Company, and translated into 20 languages worldwide. He co-wrote and starred in The War Within (Magnolia Pictures), which was released internationally and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. As an actor, Mr. Akhtar starred as Neel Kashkari in HBO's adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book Too Big to Fail. He studied at Brown University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Gordon Edelstein (Director) has Broadway credits that include The Road to Mecca (Rosemary Harris, Jim Dale, and Carla Gugino) and The Homecoming (Roy Dotrice and Lindsay Crouse). His Off Broadway credits include Satchmo at the Waldorf (Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Awards), My Name is Asher Lev (Outer Critics Award for Best Play), The Glass Menagerie (Judith Ivey, Lortel Award), as well as work at the Roundabout Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, and many others. Mr. Edelstein is in his 14th season as Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut where he has directed dozens of plays including four world premieres by Athol Fugard, and a wide range of classical and new work including his own adaptations of Uncle Vanya and A Doll’s House. He recently directed Disgraced at Long Wharf and next season he will direct the world premiere of Meteor Shower, a new comedy by Steve Martin. This past summer he directed six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald in A Moon for the Misbegotten at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, his fourth production of O’Neill’s final masterpiece. Mr. Edelstein has received numerous Connecticut Critics Circle Awards and has an Emmy Award nomination for his direction of the CBS movie Abby My Love.

Disgraced features scenic design by Lee Savage (The Dream of the Burning Boy at Roundabout Theatre Company); costume design by Ilona Somogyi (Good People at the Huntington and Clybourne Park on Broadway and Playwrights Horizons); lighting design by Eric Southern (Buyer and Cellar in New York, London, and National Tour); and sound design by David Van Tieghem (The Gin Game and Doubt on Broadway); fight choreography by Rick Sordelet (Misery on Broadway); and hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe (Ether Dome at the Huntington and Finding Neverland on Broadway). Casting by Calleri Casting. Production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and stage manager is Jeremiah Mullane.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY

Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org

ABOUT LONG WHARF THEATRE

Long Wharf Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, was founded in 1965. Entering its 51st season, Long Wharf Theatre is committed to creating theatre of the highest quality that inspires discourse and reflection about each of us and the world in which we live. Long Wharf Theatre has transferred more than 30 productions to Broadway or Off Broadway, including The Glass Menagerie, My Name is Asher Lev, Satchmo at the WaldorfWit (Pulitzer Prize), The Shadow Box (Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play), Hughie, American Buffalo, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Quartermaine's Terms (Obie Award for Best Play), The Gin Game (Pulitzer Prize), The Changing Room, The Contractor and Streamers. Long Wharf Theatre has received New York Drama Critics Awards, Obie Awards, the Margo Jefferson Award for Production of New Works, a Special Citation from the Outer Critics Circle, and the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1978.

PHOTO DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS

To download high-resolution (or smaller) photos of Disgraced:

  1. Visit http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo-library/2015-2016/disgraced/
  2. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
  3. Click the " . . . " button in the lower right-hand corner of the window and select View All Sizes.
  4. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
  5. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND CALENDAR

WHEN

January 8 – February 7, 2016

               Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm

               Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm

               Days and times vary; see complete schedule below.

Press Opening: Wednesday, January 13, 7pm. RSVP online.

WHERE

Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston

TICKETS

Single tickets starting at $25 and FlexPasses are on sale:

  • online at huntingtontheatre.org;
  • by phone at 617 266 0800; or
  • in person at the BU Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

Select discounts apply:

  • $5 off: seniors
  • $10 off: subscribers and BU community (faculty/staff/alumni)
  • $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

 

SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH DISGRACED:

35 BELOW WRAP PARTY

Friday, January 8 after the 8pm performance

A post-show party for the region’s culturally curious ages 35 and below featuring backstage access, free refreshments, and live entertainment. Mingle with members of the cast, creative team, and Huntington staff. Hang out with friends and meet new people.

35 Below tickets are available at all performances to patrons 35 and under for just $30.

COOLIDGE CORNER SCREENING OF THE NAMESAKE

Monday, January 11 at 7pm
Based on the bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake is the story of the Ganguli family, whose move from Calcutta to New York evokes a lifelong balancing act of acclimating to a new world without forgetting the old. Join us for a conversation after the screening about the overlapping themes between The Namesake and Disgraced.

Part of the Stage & Screen series, a collaboration between the Huntington Theatre Company and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

 

COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP RECEPTION

Thursday, January 14 before the 7:30pm performance

A pre-show reception with refreshments for members of the Community Membership program. Community Membership is an initiative designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income and to diversify the Huntington’s audience so it looks more like the city of Boston. Members can purchase best-available tickets to any performance without restriction for just $20. Membership is free and available through partnerships with agencies and organizations that serve limited-income populations. Santander is the Lead Supporter of the Huntington’s Community Membership program.

 

HUMANITIES FORUM

Sunday, January 24 after the 2pm performance

Explore the context and significance of Disgraced with a leading expert following the 2pm performance on January 24. 

 

ACTORS FORUMS

Thursday, January 28 after the 7:30pm performance

Wednesday, February 3 after the 2pm performance

Meet participating members of the cast of Disgraced and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum, following the performance.

 

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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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