Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar

Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, Disgraced examines the price paid to live the American Dream.  Amir, a rising star in a high-powered New York law firm, has distanced himself from his Muslim roots in a bid for success. When he and his wife Emily host an Upper East Side dinner party, what starts as a friendly conversation escalates, upending their views on race, religion, and each other.

Disgraced Discussion Series

The Role of the Artist: Asking Questions about Art & Culture
Sun May 7, following 2pm Matinee

Join the discussion around the idea of the artist’s responsibility when posing controversial questions surrounding race, class, and culture even when — and sometimes especially when —it’s uncomfortable.
Speaker: Mark Bessire, Executive Director PMA

Appropriation vs. Appreciation: Cultural Exchange in the Art World
Wed May 10, following 7:30pm Performance

Disgraced’s Emily, a white woman, is a painter looking to reexamine the importance of Islamic art on western culture. Join us for a discussion about cultural exchange and the tenuous line between Appropriation vs Appreciation.
Speakers: Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine Poet Laureate and Interim President of MECA; Andres Versoza, Independent Art Consultant, Critic, & Curator; Oscar Mokeme, Director Museum of African Culture

Pathways or Pitfalls: Legal Myths & Realities Facing Immigrants in the US
Fri May 12, following 7:30pm Performance

Using Disgraced as a frame of reference, join us to explore legal issues faced by an immigrant character in the play, and to hear and discuss real stories from the New Mainer Community.
Speakers: Asylum Attorney Jamie Wagner; Asylum Attorney Jennifer Bailey of ILAP; Rosemarie DeAngelis, Color of Community & SMCC; members of the New Mainer Community.

The Tragic American Figure
Wed May 17 following 7:30 Performance

Join us for a panel discussion as we discuss Disgraced’s Amir against the backdrop of other classic tragic American figures in the theater, such as Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman), Blanche DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire), and Walter Lee Younger (A Raisin in the Sun)
Speakers: Sarah Bay-Cheng, Professor and Department Chair at Bowdoin; Dr. Thomas Oldham, Colby Professor; Dr. Assunta Kent, USM Professor

Special Event

Tuesday May 16, 6:30pm, Suggested Donation $10
Sacred Stories by Color of Community

In conjunction with Disgraced, Color of Community will present Sacred Stories, which are personal stories of life challenges and lessons learned. Color of Community is college-aged asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants. Includes audience conversation and a light reception.

Portland Stage creates powerful theater that resonates with our community. If you have questions about the subject or content of any of our plays, please contact the Box Office prior to purchasing tickets for a detailed synopsis.

Quick Info


Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the author of American Dervish, published in over twenty languages worldwide and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His stage play Disgraced played at New York’s LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in 2012, and won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His latest play, The Who & The What, premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in February 2014, and opened in New York at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in June 2014. 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.

Cast & Artists