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December 3, 2021

#Play Ayad Aktar Pulitzer Prize 2013 Drama

by N@ncy

  • 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

 

Quickscan:

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.

 

  1. Well, this gives you an idea where Ayad Aktar stands compared
  2. to the great writers of the 20th C!
  3. A Pulitzer Prize winning play
  4. …always needs to be researched before reading.
  5. I discovered so much that otherwise would have passed me by

 

  1. Character development: fury –> rage –> violence  (Amir, Isaac)
  2. Characters represent different parts of society:
  3. Amir:  Pakistani muslim lawyer; apostate, abandons Islam
  4. Isaac: Jewish  museum curator; defends Judaism, Israel
  5. Emily: American privileged artist (wife Amir); fervently embraces Islamic art
  6. Abe: Pakistani muslim (nephew Amir); zealot;  uncompromising belief in Islam
  7. Jory: African-American lawyer (wife Isaac) objects to misogynistic Islam
  8. Plot: Volatile combination of characters at dinner party
  9. …that needs just a spark to explode (read play and discover spark!)
  10. Timeline: opening scene, 2 weeks later (SC2), 3 months later (SC3), 6 months later (SC 4)
  11. Location: Amir and Emily’s apartment, East Side New York City
  12. Spin-in-the-web:  Islamic faith, it connects all the actors
  13. Themes: Islamophobia  – racism – tribalism

 

Strong point:  literary device dramatic irony

  1. Aktar arranges the dialogue and exit/entrances of characters 
  2. so  the audience knows more
  3. than the character they are watching on stage!
  4. #Classic way to create tension and suspense

 

Strong point:  title  “Disgraced”

  1. The title “Disgraced” is the core message of the play.
  2. What it feels like….and what people do as reaction.
  3. Amir learn about 3 shocks in his life:
  4. back round check at law-firm, wife’s affair,
  5. …NO promotion as full partner at work
  6. He feels “disgraced”.
  7. What happens?
  8. Amir reacts with kick-the-dog effect.”
  9. Anger and frustration leads him to lash out at innocent people….

 

Conclusion:

  1. I’m trying to read 50 Best Plays of the last 100 years.
  2. But there are many plays in the 21st C that are not on this list.
  3. I expect Disgraced to be one on the best of the 2000s
  4. I don’t see many “plays” on reading lists.
  5. Try to think of a play as a “surgically crafted” novella
  6. …extremely accurate and precise.

Read more from #ReadDiversely, plays

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