Photo Flash: First Look at THE WHO AND THE WHAT at Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens Theater presents the final show of its 40th anniversary season, the Midwest Premiere of The Who & the What by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Ron OJ Parson. The Who & the What runs June 12 - July 12, 2015 with the press performance on Friday, June 19, 2015, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Brilliant Pakistani-American writer Zarina is focused on finishing her novel about women and Islam when she meets Eli, a young convert who bridges the gap between her modern life and her traditional heritage. When her conservative father and sister discover the manuscript, it threatens to divide their tight-knit family. With humor and ferocity, 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar and director Ron OJ Parson examine the giant chasm between our traditions and our contemporary lives.

Artistic Director Chay Yew comments, "I'm thrilled to welcome Ayad to Victory Gardens. His continual investigation and representation of Muslim Americans continue to fuel meaningful national dialogue in the American theatre. In this gorgeous gem of a play, he writes astutely on family dynamics bitterly torn apart by generational, gender, traditional and religious conflicts. Ron is one of our most talented directors in Chicago and I'm excited to have him helm his first production at Victory Gardens in more than a decade. He will be an invaluable collaborator for Ayad's powerful and comic play. It's an artistic dream team."

The Who & the What will feature Rom Barkhourdar (Afzal), Minita Gandhi (Mahwish), Susaan Jamshidi (Zarina), and Shane Kenyon (Eli).

The creative team for The Who & the What is Scott Davis (set design), Kristy Hall (costume design), Sarah Hughey (light design), Andre Pluess (sound design), Jesse Gaffney (props master), and Ronnie Malley (assistant sound design).

Photos by Michael Courier

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