Ayad Akhtar’s play on Islamophobia on stage at Tehran theater 

April 24, 2022 - 18:13

TEHRAN – American writer Ayad Akhtar’s play “Disgraced” on Islamophobia is on stage at Tehran’s Iranshahr Theater Complex.

Saeid Rustai, the director of “Leila’s Brothers”, a movie vying for the Palme d’Or for best movie at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, is the producer of the play directed by Farhad Shantiai.

He is staging the play based on a Persian translation by Kamal Abdi and Shirin Salami, who also plays a role in this project.

Shantiai, Amir-Ali Shirabadi, Behzad Karimi and Mahsa Shojaei are other members of the cast. 

Premiered in 2012 at the American Theater Company in Chicago, “Disgraced” centers on sociopolitical themes such as Islamophobia and the self-identity of Muslim-American citizens.

It focuses on a dinner party between four people with very different backgrounds. As the discussion turns to politics and religion, the mood quickly becomes heated. 

Based on a review by Marilyn Stasio published by Variety, the play depicts racial and ethnic prejudices that “secretly persist in even the most progressive cultural circles.”

It is also said to depict the challenge for upwardly mobile Muslim Americans in post-9/11 America. Productions have included performances by Aasif Mandvi and Erik Jensen.

In this play, Amir Kapoor has turned his back on his upbringing in pursuit of the American Dream — he’s married to a beautiful woman, lives in a luxurious Manhattan apartment and is eyeing a lucrative promotion at his powerful law firm. But when Amir hosts a dinner party for his African American co-worker and her Jewish husband, the initially pleasant evening erupts into a volatile argument over race, religion and class in the modern world.

The play, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater on October 23, 2014.

“Disgraced” has also been recognized with a 2012 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work – Play or Musical and a 2013 Obie Award for Playwriting. 

The 2014 Broadway transfer earned a Tony Award for Best Play nomination in 2015.

Photo: A poster for “Disgraced”, which is on stage at Tehran’s Iranshahr Theater Complex. 

MMS/YAW

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