Pulitzer Prize-Winning Disgraced to play at Syracuse Stage

Explosive and powerful drama tackles topics at the forefront of today’s social and political landscapes

SYRACUSE, NY – After the phenomenal success of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, Syracuse Stage switches gears and turns on a powerful and explosive drama as the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced opens on Jan. 27 in the Archbold Theatre at the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama Complex, 820 E. Genesee St.  Preview performances are Jan. 25 and 26.

Written by Ayad Akhtar, Disgraced is one of the most discussed American dramas in recent years. Confronting head on the personal and social fracturing of the post-9/11 landscape, the play creates urgent connections between the world depicted on stage and the world outside our doors. In the tradition of the greatest dramas, it is a play that raises hard questions and presents points of view that demand further discussion.

May Adrales directs Disgraced at Syracuse Stage. She has helmed two previous productions at the theatre, Chinglish (2014) and In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (2015), and recently scored a success in New York with Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone at Manhattan Theatre Club.

Disgraced is a citizen’s piece,” Adrales said. “It makes you want to do or say something to express your point of view. It’s enlivening. I think we need more of that kind of theatre.”

Disgraced is set in 2011, ten years after the 9/11 attacks. At the center is Amir Kapoor, a successful young attorney with a seemingly perfect life. He and his artist wife, Emily, who is about to have a major exhibition of her work, have a coveted New York apartment and he is on track for partnership in his high-powered firm. Their lives, however, are sent careening off the rails by a series of events, some of which relate to Amir’s identity as a Muslim and a Pakistani-American.

Adrales sees Disgraced as a play very much of the current political moment. The divisions that opened in the aftermath of 9/11 have worsened, she believes, which gives the play a great sense of urgency. “We have to be able to reach across the aisle and reach across the table and talk to people who have opposing views, and the play crystallizes how difficult that is,” she said.

Encountering such difficulties on the stage, though, is what makes theatre powerful and worthwhile for her. “I enjoy theatre that challenges me and challenges me to think in a different way,” she said. “I think the theatricality of Disgraced is how it makes me question why I think the way I do. What are the influences that are affecting me and how do I project myself in the world because of the values I have.  And so it is deeply meaningful to me to see the show.  And that’s the experience I want the audience to have.”

Wherever Disgraced has been produced, it has inspired discussion. Syracuse Stage will be offering talkbacks with the audience following most performances. Discussion participants will include members of the Central New York community, Syracuse Stage staff and members of the cast.

Disgraced is also part the Syracuse Symposium 2016-2017: Place, sponsored by the Syracuse University Humanities Center. Following the 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Jan. 29, the theatre will host a panel discussion Place and Displacement: Staging Diverse Cultural Geographies in American Theater. The panel features Christian DuComb, assistant professor of English and Theatre at Colgate University; Gail Hamner, professor of Religion, Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences; Clea E. Hupp, associate professor and chair of the History Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and Dr. Emad Rahim, endowed entrepreneur-in-residence at Oklahoma State University and visiting scholar at Rutgers University.

Disgraced runs through Feb. 12. Tickets are available in-person at the Box Office, by phone, 315-443-3275, or online at www.syracusestage.org.

Special Events Syracuse Stage Logo small

Jan. 27             Opening Night Party (free for ticket holders)

Join the cast for a post-show celebration with live music, food, drinks and good times. Featuring the sould and R&B stylings of jazz pianist and vocalist Ronnie Leigh.

Jan. 29             Prologue at 1 p.m. (free for ticket holders)

An intimate, 20-minute pre-show discussion with the actors one hour prior to curtain. Bring your questions.

Place & Displacement: A Panel Discussion at 3:30 p.m. (free for ticket and non-ticket holders)

Part of the Syracuse University’s Humanities Center’s Syracuse Symposium: Place

A panel discussion on staging diverse cultural geographies in American Theatre featuring Christian DuComb, assistant professor of English and Theatre at Colgate University; Gail Hamner, professor of Religion, Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences; Clea E. Hupp, associate professor and chair of the History Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and Dr. Emad Rahim, endowed entrepreneur-in-residence at Oklahoma State University and visiting scholar at Rutgers University.

Feb. 2              “International” Happy Hour at 6 p.m. (free for ticket holders)

Enjoy complimentary appetizers from the innovative new restaurant bringing world flavors to Central New York, With Love, Pakistan. All drinks will be half-priced. Entertainment provided by Hot 107.9 DJ, Kobe.

Feb. 3              New! Disgraced Dinner Party ($50, includes dinner party and show admission) Enjoy wine and tapas during the calm before the stormy dinner party on stage.

Feb. 4              Prologue at 2 p.m. (free for ticket holders)

An intimate, 20-minute pre-show discussion with the actors one hour prior to curtain. Bring your questions.

ASL Interpreted Performance at 3 p.m. for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Feb. 5              Actor Talkback (free for ticket holders)

A Q&A session with the actors following the 7 p.m. performance.

Feb. 8              Wednesday @ 1 Lecture (free for ticket holders)

Khuram Hussain, Ph. D., associate professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and a co-founder of Tools for Social Change, a city and campus collaboration for racial justice, will give a lecture at 1 p.m. in the Sutton Pavilion before the 2 p.m. performance.

Open Captioning at 2 p.m. Performance for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Dinner & Show ($45, includes dinner and show admission)

Enjoy a buffet dinner with fellow theatre lovers in the Sutton Pavilion. Seasonal faire prepared by Phoebe’s Restaurant followed by great theatre.

Feb. 9              Prologue at 6:30 p.m. (free for ticket holders)

An intimate, 20-minute pre-show discussion with the actors one hour prior to curtain. Bring your questions.

Feb. 11            Audio Described Performance at 3 p.m. for patrons who are blind or visually impaired.

Feb. 12            Open Captioning at 2 p.m. Performance for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.