DIsgraced Play

Pulitzer Prize Winning ‘Disgraced’ Stirs Controversy on Broadway

Disgraced Play

Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Disgraced opens on Broadway to impressed audiences still contemplating its controversial subject.

The play “Disgraced,” written by playwright Ayad Akhtar, has been popular in small theaters, but it is now beginning a run on Broadway with huge audiences that are often polarized by its dynamic and controversial content. Disgraced is so much more than just a play; it is a discussion about race and religion, faith and identity, and just how far a person would go to defend them.

The majority of the action occurs during a dinner party in which the four guests are Jewish American, African American, white Muslim American, and American Pakistani Muslim, and each of the characters challenge the others’ beliefs and ideals. As the discussion heats up, friendships are broken and previous assumptions have to be totally cast aside as the topic of how to express one’s faith becomes very painful.

One thing that the director, Kimberly Senior, loves is that the audiences regularly become so outraged at things that are said within the play that they become vocal themselves, shouting at the stage or their friends after a performance. The audience becomes part of the spectacle, which is in many ways exactly what Ayad Akhtar was hoping to achieve with his script. He believes – and many others agree with him – that discussions about Islam are now heavily politically charged, as well as being deeply personal. There are so many different attitudes to Islam, and Ayad Akhtar wanted to address them all – and all at once.

Disgraced has won a Pulitzer Prize for its script, and features a talented cast with Hari Dhillon (Holby City), Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire), Danny Ashok, Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), and Karen Pittman.


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