Now among the most celebrated American plays of this decade, Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced will soon become among the most performed, with more than 20 regional theater productions scheduled for the coming season alone. Following is a brief history of the play’s journey from its acclaimed off-Loop roots to its Tony Award-nominated Broadway run and beyond.
Disgraced, one of four new plays that Akhtar has composed over an eight-month period, receives its first public performance, in a reading sponsored by AracaWorks, a program of Araca Productions, who would eventually produce the play on Broadway. The reading is held at the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, part of New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company complex.
Disgraced receives its first full production at Chicago’s American Theatre Company under the direction of Kimberly Senior. Greeted by overwhelmingly positive reviews, the production runs for six weeks, eventually receiving four Jeff Award nominations and one award, for Best New Work.
The play receives its first New York staging at Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT3 performance space, again under Senior’s direction. Featuring Aasaf Mandvi as Amir, the play receives an Obie Award and is nominated for the John Gassner Award by the Outer Critics Circle.
Disgraced receives the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The play receives its first international production at London’s Bush Theatre, under the direction of Nadia Fall. Hari Dhillon plays Amir, a role he will repeat in the Broadway production the next year.
OCTOBER 2014–MARCH 2015
Disgraced comes to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre, once again under the direction of Senior. In addition to Dhillon, the production features actors Gretchen Mol (Emily), Josh Radnor (Isaac), Karen Pittman (Jory) and Danny Ashok (Abe). The play receives a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
Goodman Theatre opens its 91st season with Disgraced, once again directed by Senior. Among the cast is Behzad Dabu as Abe; Dabu originated this role in the American Theatre Company production.