Review: Disgraced

“Disgraced,” a play by Ayad Akhtar, will be shown at the Town and Gown Theatre from April 7-9. The play dives into several prevalent issues such as Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Photo Fair Use of Town and Gown Players.

By DELIA ADAMSON – Print News Editor

Athens’ local Town and Gown Theater puts on the play “Disgraced” directed by Asia Meana running April 7-9.

Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Disgraced” enraptures the audience and puts them into the shoes of someone who has renounced their Islamic faith and is now living in the United States.

An apostate Muslim, Amir (Shahab Razavi) is an immigrant from Pakistan. Amir sees the Islamic religion as morally wrong and does everything in his power to get as far away from it as possible.

However, this is not easy when his wife Emily (Shannon Crawford) uses the religion as inspiration for her painting career and their Manhattan apartment is full of constant reminders of what Amir left behind.

Throughout the play, the viewer is put in constant distress as to what the character’s next actions will be. As the plot thickens, the character’s true colors are revealed and they are ugly. The play is full of racial and religious tension and allows those watching to dive into the mind of someone who feels a connection that is “tribal” or in their blood to their religion.

For example, when Amir admits he felt “pride” when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.

The play also hits home with issues, like racism and immigration, as characters like Isaac (Adam Shirley), Jory (Kimarah Laurent) and Abe (Humzah Khraim) are introduced. Sparks of anti-Semitism and racial profiling are turned into raging fires and Islamophobia makes an appearance.

The play embraces all the topics that aren’t to be touched at the dinner table and handles them with bluntness and creativity. Each actor does a marvelous job of portraying their character and revealing the monster that is hiding within all of us.

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