Ayad Akhtar’s acclaimed first novel American Dervish will be adapted for the stage and will have its world premiere at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Wisconsin native is working with Artistic Director Mark Clements on the adaptation, which will be produced at the theatre under the John (Jack) D. New Play Development Program.
American Dervish, which was published in 2012, takes place in Milwaukee. The story follows a young Pakistani-American boy growing up in the American Midwest and looks at the interplay of religion and modern life.
“I grew up seeing shows at Milwaukee Rep,” said Akhtar in a statement. “It’s been an honor to have their support over the years and I couldn’t think of a better partner to bring American Dervish to the stage. I’m equally thrilled to be working with Mark Clements on this adaptation and can’t wait for Milwaukee audiences to be a part of that process as my first novel comes back home.”
Milwaukee Rep has produced several of the playwright’s plays, including The Invisible Hand, Disgraced, The Who & The What, and the upcoming regional premiere of his Broadway play Junk (tapped for the 2018–19 season).
“I’m extremely excited to collaborate with Ayad Akhtar, one of our country’s most gifted playwrights,” said Artistic Director Clements. “Having the opportunity to bring American Dervish to the stage, a new work based in Milwaukee, created for Milwaukee, yet with global appeal, that furthers the cannon of a great Milwaukee playwright, is an exhilarating project to be working on together.”
For more information on Milwaukee Rep visit MilwaukeeRep.com.