#Play Ayad Aktar Pulitzer Prize 2013 Drama
- Playwright: Ayad Akhtar (1970)
- Title: Disgraced
- Genre: play (1 act; 4 scenes)
- Opening night: January 2012
- Trivia: Nominated Tony Award for Best Play 2015
- Trivia: Winner Pulitzer Prize Drama 2013
- Monthly reading plan
- #ReadDiversely 2021
Quote from The Economist:
- Akhtar’s tales of assimilation
- “are as essential today as the work of
- Saul Bellow, James Farrell, and Vladimir Nabokov
- were in the 20th century
- …in capturing the drama of the immigrant experience.“
- Well, this gives you an idea where Ayad Aktar stands compared
- to the great writers of the 20th C!
- A Pulitzer Prize winning play
- …always needs to be researched before reading.
- I discovered so much that otherwise would have passed me by
- Character development: fury –> rage –> violence (Amir, Isaac)
- Characters represent different parts of society:
- Amir: Pakistani muslim lawyer; apostate, abandons Islam
- Isaac: Jewish museum curator; defends Judaism, Israel
- Emily: American privileged artist (wife Amir); fervently embraces Islamic art
- Abe: Pakistani muslim (nephew Amir); zealot; uncompromising belief in Islam
- Jory: African-American lawyer (wife Isaac) objects to misogynistic Islam
- Plot: Volatile combination of characters at dinner party
- …that needs just a spark to explode (read play and discover spark!)
- Timeline: opening scene, 2 weeks later (SC2), 3 months later (SC3), 6 months later (SC 4)
- Location: Amir and Emily’s apartment, East Side New York City
- Spin-in-the-web: Islamic faith, it connects all the actors
- Themes: Islamophobia – racism – tribalism
Strong point: literary device dramatic irony
- Aktar arranges the dialogue and exit/entrances of characters
- so the audience knows more
- …than the character they are watching on stage!
- #Classic way to create tension and suspense
Strong point: title “Disgraced”
- The title “Disgraced” is the core message of the play.
- What it feels like….and what people do as reaction.
- Amir learn about 3 shocks in his life:
- back round check at law-firm, wife’s affair,
- …NO promotion as full partner at work
- He feels “disgraced”.
- What happens?
- Amir reacts with “kick-the-dog effect.”
- Anger and frustration leads him to lash out at innocent people….
- I’m trying to read 50 Best Plays of the last 100 years.
- But there are many plays in the 21st C that are not on this list.
- I expect Disgraced to be one on the best of the 2000s
- I don’t see many “plays” on reading lists.
- Try to think of a play as a “surgically crafted” novella
- …extremely accurate and precise.