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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

E&H presents prize-winning 'Disgraced'

January 27, 2016

The Emory & Henry department of theater may be the first college to request the rights to "Disgraced," a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar. The play is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, 26 and 27, and at 2 p.m., Feb. 28 in the Black Box Theatre in the McGlothlin Center for the Arts on campus.

"Emory & Henry's is likely the college premiere of the play, which is exciting," said Dr. Kelly Bremner, assistant professor of theater at the college and director of the play. "I would describe the play as unflinchingly current and important, and I am proud to be among the many theaters taking it on this year."

The play follows Amir, a successful New York attorney struggling with Islamophobia in a post 9/11 world. When a savage argument breaks out between his wife and closest friends at a dinner party, secret prejudices are revealed, and Amir's world is changed forever. This controversial play is sure to leave audiences at the edge of their seats.

"The play is about what it's like to live as an Arab American in a Post 9/11 America," said Bremner. "The playwright himself is Pakistani American, and he wrote the play to describe what it felt like to live in an America that came to view him with suspicion because of his ethnicity. The play is a very brave and raw look at the issue of perception and identity of Muslims in America. I think audiences will come away thinking about this issue in a more nuanced way."

The lead character in the play, Amir, is working to blend his past and his culture to pass in a modern world that wants him to discount the effect these things have on a person. "In this way, it is a coming of age story," said Bremner. "Anyone who has left home and attempted to define themselves on their own terms will find a lot to identify with in this play."

Bremner continued, "I believe that as a college theater department, we have to take part in the larger mission of our institution to engage with the world around us, and this play will certainly do that. While this play might be considered controversial, it's also one of the most commonly produced plays in regional theater this year, likely because it just came off Broadway, and it takes on such an important issue to the modern world."

Tickets are $15 and available by calling the box office at 276-944-6333, or by purchasing online at www.ehc.edu/mca. There will be no late seating.

Topics: Theatre