A Contemporary Theatre to Stage West Coast Premiere of Ayad Akhtar's THE INVISIBLE HAND

A Contemporary Theatre to Stage West Coast Premiere of Ayad Akhtar's THE INVISIBLE HAND

A Contemporary Theatre announces the west coast premiere of writer/actor Ayad Akhtar's The Invisible Hand, about an American investor kidnapped by a militant group in Pakistan. Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for his play Disgraced, which opens on Broadway this fall. The Invisible Hand premiered at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis studio series in 2012. Since then, Akhtar has continued development on the script, added a character, and he will participate in the creative process as the show develops in Seattle, spending time in the rehearsal room and audience preview process.

ACT is pleased to partner with Artists Repertory Theatre (Portland, OR) to co-produce the The Invisible Hand. Allen Nause, known to Seattle audiences primarily for his acting work, directs the cast of four, featuring the return of actor Connor Toms as Nick Bright (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, ACT), and the ACT Mainstage debut of Los Angeles-based actor Elijah Alexander (Metamorphoses, Circle in the Square; Shopping and Fucking, NYTW; Throne of Blood, BAM) as Bashir; along with Seattle actors Erwin Galan (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Washington Ensemble Theatre) as Dar, and William Ontiveros as Imam Saleem.

In remote Pakistan, Nick Bright awaits his fate. A highly successful player at a major investment bank, Nick is kidnapped by an Islamic militant group, but with no one negotiating for his release, the prisoner takes matters into his own hands. The Invisible Hand is a chilling examination of how far we will go to survive and the consequences of the choices we make.

"The invisible hand" is a term used by Adam Smith to describe the natural forces that guide free market capitalism through competition for scarce resources. This play examines what that principle looks like under extreme circumstances.

Ayad Akhtar, a writer and actor, was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the author of American Dervish, a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto's The Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His stage play Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and will be on Broadway this fall. His play, The Who & The What, recently premiered at La Jolla Playhouse and just closed a run at Lincoln Center. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He has been the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo, as well as commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing.

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