Ayad Akhtar's New Play JUNK Will Bring Financial Civil War to Broadway This Fall

By: Feb. 06, 2017
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This fall Lincoln Center Theater, in association with The Araca Group, will produce Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar's new play Junk, directed by Doug Hughes. The production will begin previews Thursday, September 14 and open on Thursday, October 12 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65 Street).

It's 1985. Robert Merkin, the resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell has just landed on the cover of Time Magazine. Hailed as "America's Alchemist," his proclamation that "debt is an asset" has propelled him to dizzying heights. Zealously promoting his belief in the near-sacred infallibility of markets, he is trying to re-shape the world.

JUNK is the story of Merkin's assault on American capitalism's holy of holies, the "deal of the decade," his attempt to takeover an iconic American manufacturing company and, in the process, to change all the rules. What Merkin sets in motion is nothing less than a financial civil war, pitting magnates against workers, lawyers against journalists, and ultimately, pitting every one against themselves.

Set more than 30 years ago, this is a play about how, while most of us weren't watching, money became the only thing of real value.

JUNK will have sets by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Ben Stanton, and original music and sound by Mark Bennett. Casting will be announced at a later date.

Ayad Akhtar returns to Lincoln Center Theater where his plays Disgraced and The Who & the What were produced by LCT3. Akhtar won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Disgraced and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play for Disgraced's subsequent Broadway production co-produced by The Araca Group and LCT. Akhtar was named the most produced playwright during the 2015-2016 season by American Theatre. His other plays include the Obie award winning The Invisible Hand, which was long-listed for the 2016 Evening Standard Theatre Award. Mr. Akhtar is also a novelist and author of American Dervish, published in over 20 languages worldwide. He is currently the Resident Playwright with Arena Stage at Washington, D.C.'s Mead Center for American Theater.

Hughes directed the LCT productions of The City of Conversation and The House in Town. A Tony Award-winner for his direction of Doubt, his other Broadway credits include The Father, Outside Mullingar, The Big Knife, An Enemy of the People, Born Yesterday, Oleanna, The Royal Family, A Man for All Seasons, Mauritius, Inherit the Wind, A Touch of the Poet, and Frozen (Tony Award nomination). In addition to the Tony Award, he has been awarded Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Obie and Callaway Awards for his productions.

This season, Lincoln Center Theater is producing How To Transcend A Happy Marriage, a new play by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Rebecca Taichman, beginning Thursday, February 23 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater; the LCT3 production of Bull in a China Shop, a new play by Bryna Turner, directed by Lee Sunday Evans, beginning performances Saturday, February 11 at the Claire Tow Theater; the return of its hit production of J.T. Rogers' Oslo, directed by Bartlett Sher, which begins its Broadway run Thursday, March 23 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater; and Pipeline, a new play by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz beginning Thursday, June 15 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. LCT is also co-producing the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, starring Sally Field, directed by Sam Gold, beginning Tuesday, February 7 at the Belasco Theatre.

The Araca Group was founded in 1997 by partners Matthew Rego, Michael Rego, and Hank Unger. Broadway producing credits includeUrinetown, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Wicked, The Wedding Singer, Boeing-Boeing, Rock of Ages, A View from the Bridge, Lend Me a Tenor, Cinderella, A Raisin in the Sun, Skylight, Disgraced, The Front Page, Paramour, and the world premiere of Junk at the La Jolla Playhouse. In addition, The Araca Group provides merchandising services for the music industry and theatrical events on Broadway and around the world. For more information, please visit araca.com.

JUNK had its world premiere on July 26, 2016 at the La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director & Michael S. Rosenberg, Managing Director).