BWW Preview: Ayad Akhtar's DISGRACED Addresses Immigration and Cultural Roots at 4th Wall Theatre Company
Shortly after the recent saddening announcement of 4th Wall Theatre Company's upcoming closure, the spirited troupe of actors, creatives, and theatrical masterminds are hard at work preparing for the opening of award-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar's theatrical work DISGRACED. This Houston premiere will mark the start of 4th Wall's seventh season, and will feature 4th Wall's Co-Founders Philip Lehl as an actor and Kim Tobin-Lehl as director.
DISGRACED not only holds the acclaimed title of Pulitzer Prize for Drama awarded in 2013, but in 2015 was also the most produced play in America. The play's plot follows Amir Kapoor's journey as a Pakistani-American lawyer as his professional life in the Big Apple hastily hurries up the corporate ladder, further separating him from the cultural tradition, lifestyle, and practice of his past. Hiding his religious and cultural upbringing by claiming to be from India, Amir eventually encounters consequences. His artistic wife Emily requests his help on a case that initiated the jailing of an individual suspected of involvement in terrorist activities, leading Amir down a rabbit-hole experience encountering his past, his identity, and his intentions in life.
Described by 4th Wall Theatre Company's Co-Founded and actor in DISGRACED, Philip Lehl, this show is "edgy, raw, and entertaining", making it both fun and engaging to view but also relevant, bold, and authentic. Lehl explains, "This play won the Pulitzer Prize because it makes its main character, and its audience, face fears about what America is and what it stands for. It asks us, 'What is the American dream?' It asks us, 'Do we want immigrants to buy into the American dream?' and it asks us, 'Does our future depend on our past?'.
Exploring these socially and politically relevant themes in hilarious banter and a theatrical context, DISGRACED reflects instances and questions many in the audience have likely encountered in their lives today.
DISGRACED will begin hold a preview performance on Thursday, September 7th at 7:30pm. Opening night is September 8th at 7:30pm, and the performances will run through Saturday, September 30th. Matinee performances will be held on Sundays, with one Pay What You Can performance on Monday, September 25th. Ticket prices range roughly from $17.00- $53.00. To purchase tickets for DISGRACED, please visit 4th Wall Theatre Company's website at 4thwalltheatreco.com or call at 832.786.1849 for information.
Photo courtesy of 4th Wall Theatre Company