Chicago's ATC to Stage Premiere of Muslim-American Drama Disgraced; David Cromer May Direct Rent

News   Chicago's ATC to Stage Premiere of Muslim-American Drama Disgraced; David Cromer May Direct Rent
American Theater Company (ATC) in Chicago will replace its coming revival of K2 with the world premiere of Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, featuring ATC ensemble member Usman Ally. Additionally, there is a report that ATC's coming staging of Rent may be directed by acclaimed director David Cromer.

David Cromer
David Cromer Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Disgraced is produced by special arrangement with The Araca Group (Broadway's Urinetown, A View From the Bridge and co-producers of Wicked). Disgraced will run Feb. 3-March 4, 2012. The production will open Feb. 6.

Set in New York City today, Disgraced looks at a Muslim-American lawyer who "is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while he distances himself from his cultural roots," according to the ATC announcement. "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."

"As the country reflects on the aftermath of 9/11 on the 10th anniversary, Disgraced allows our audience a personal yet politically-charged journey that many Muslims living in America face," stated artistic director PJ Paparelli. "Ayad Akhtar doesn't only hit the nail on the head, he smashes the hammer, allowing us into a complex struggle that humbles and frustrates. ATC is honored to be working with one of New York's leading producing organizations for the theatre. The Araca Group's passion and commitment to this material is inspiring. We are thrilled to be birthing this important American play together here in Chicago."

In recent years, ATC's world premieres have had subsequent productions at The Old Globe (Welcome to Arroyo's by Kristoffer Diaz) and Playwrights Horizons (the forthcoming The Big Meal by Dan LeFranc). Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman's Yeast Nation also played ATC prior to its 2011 New York International Fringe Festival staging.

Paparelli told the Chicago Tribune that Cromer (lauded for his Chicago and Off-Broadway production of Our Town, and for Lincoln Center Theater's When the Rain Stops Falling) is in talks about directing Rent, Jonathan Larson's Pulizter Prize-winning look at friends, artists and lovers in the age of AIDS. American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question, “What does it mean to be an American?"


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