Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, an Examination of Muslim-American Identity, Opens Jan. 30 in Chicago

News   Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, an Examination of Muslim-American Identity, Opens Jan. 30 in Chicago American Theater Company presents the world premiere of Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, an examination of a modern Muslim-American struggling to define his identity, which officially opens Jan. 30, following previews that began Jan. 27.

Usman Ally
Usman Ally Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Directed by Kimberly Senior, the limited Chicago engagement continues through Feb. 26. The cast includes Usman Ally as Amir, Alana Arenas as Jory, Behzad Dabu as Abe, Benim Foster as Isaac and Lee Stark as Emily.

Here's how ATC bills Disgraced: "New York. Today. A Muslim-American lawyer is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while he distances himself from his cultural roots. At the moment of achieving his life-long ambitions, he falls victim to professional and personal betrayals that manifest in one of the most explosive and controversial scenes ever written for the theatre."

"[Disgraced] unearths the unspoken cultural tensions fostered by our country's unfounded fear of the unknown," said ATC artistic director PJ Paparelli in a statement. "And perhaps most importantly, it's the first time that post-9/11 Muslim Americans have taken center stage in the theatre."

Disgraced is produced by special arrangement with The Araca Group, producers of Broadway's Urinetown and A View From the Bridge.

Other members of the creative team include fight choreographer David Woolley, set designer Jack Magaw, lighting designer Christine Binder, costume designer Janice Pytel, prop designer Nick Heggestad, sound designer Kevin O’Donnell and production stage manager Katie Klemme. Playwright Akhtar's first novel, "American Dervish," was recently released by Little, Brown and Company. ATC will host a launch party for "American Dervish" at the theatre Feb. 7.

American Theater Company was founded in July 1985 as American Blues Theatre. ATC is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories.

American Theater Company is located at 1909 W. Byron in Chicago, IL. For more information and tickets, call (773) 409-4125 or visit www.atcweb.org.

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