The Who & The What : Post Show Conversation with Playwright Ayad Akhtar and WBUR’S Senior Arts Engagement Producer Louise Kennedy

4/6/2017 South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

Join Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar and WBUR’s Senior Arts Engagement Producer Louise Kennedy for a post-show discussion after the 7:30pm performance of The Who & the What on April 6.

Ayad Akhtar is the author of Disgraced which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, was nominated for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play for its Broadway run, and was produced at the Huntington in its 2015-2016 season. He is a novelist and author of American Dervish, published in over 20 languages worldwide. His plays The Who & the What and The Invisible Hand received Off Broadway runs and are currently being produced around the world and his play Junk will be produced on Broadway this fall. Mr. Akhtar was listed as the most produced playwright for the 2015-2016 season by American Theatre magazine. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He has received fellowships from MacDowell, Djerassi, the Sundance Institute, Ucross, and Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. He is also a Board Trustee at PEN/America and New York Theatre Workshop. Mr. Akhtar is currently the resident playwright with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.

Louise Kennedy is the Senior Arts Engagement Producer at WBUR, working to build connections with Boston’s arts community. She previously launched and led Edify, WBUR's home for education coverage, and  joined WBUR in 2012 as director of community engagement, overseeing WBUR's live events and other direct, local forms of connecting with the audience. Before joining WBUR, Ms. Kennedy was a longtime editor and writer at The Boston Globe, most recently as theatre critic. She has also worked at newspapers and magazines around New England. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Ms. Kennedy holds a bachelor's degree in history from Yale College. She is the co-author, with Linda K. Rath, EdD, of "The 'Between the Lions' Book for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Learn to Read" and has taught journalism at Emerson College.



About The Who and the What

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

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