- By Ayad Akhtar
A Shattering Cultural Collision
“Bristles with wit and intelligence” —The New York Times
Experience the resounding impact of this Pulitzer Prize–winning play and Canadian premiere. Amir Kapoor is a rising star in his law firm, set to make partner, who lives comfortably with his artist wife, Emily. He’s a Pakistani-American, born Muslim, who has since effectively shed his roots and religion. One evening, the couple host a dinner for Amir’s African-American co-worker and her Jewish art curator husband. Conversations around faith and politics lead to a startling conclusion that burns with tension and release.
Contains mature themes and graphic language.
Running time: Approx. 1 hour 20 minutes (no intermission)
"Strong performances, snappy direction" —Erika Thorkelson, The Vancouver Sun
"Disgraced engages...This production is solid" —Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
"Meaty and provocative...intelligent and engrossing" —Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier
"Smart and relevant ... refreshingly accessible" —Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents
"...a powerful work of theatre" —Daniel Chai, Vancity Buzz
"...merited the standing ovation given by the audience" —Michael Pigeon, Vancouverscapee
"...a must-see play" —Paul Durras, BC Booklook
"Disgraced a powerful redemption of caricatures of minorities" —Dana Gee, The Province [preview]
"Ayad Akhtar weaves an intricate fabric with Disgraced" —Shawn Conner, The Vancouver Sun [preview]
"Islamophobia rears its head at Arts Club dinner party" —Kelsey Klassen, Westender [preview]
"I was quite unprepared for Disgraced and quite overwhelmed by the intensity of the stereotyping and interactions. It is really a "must-see" for anyone interested in all the shades of bigotry and prejudice which are rampant in our societies (albeit discreetly hidden in polite Canadian society). Great production, quality acting, and an important contribution. Well done!"
"A powerful and multifaceted expose of the racism and misogyny inherent in mainstream religions which is contributing to much of the world's problems. Very well acted and thought provoking"
"Outstanding play; excellent performances; wonderful stage, set, and lighting effects"
"Great play–thought provoking. The acting was outstanding, especially lead male role. Loved it–A+"
"While I love the musicals and thoroughly entertaining shows, and am extremely excited about the upcoming production of Pride and Prejudice, I was very pleased to see the Arts Club willing to take on a play like Disgraced. It was multi-layered, at times difficult to watch, and took on loaded and relevant issues. The script was excellent, the cast skillful, and the show interwove many complex elements without falling into the easy black and white arguments that are so common today in the areas of culture and religion. Big issues were brought down to the human element, with no simple, tidy outcomes. I found this an excellent and important play. Kudos"
"Powerful show with excellent performances by all actors. I was just too stunned at the end to give them the standing ovation they so richly deserved!"
"This is the first time in the many years I have attended any Arts Club performances and experienced such intense emotion as Disgraced left with me. From the beginning of the play, I was captivated with keen interest because of the skills of the actors and how they portrayed a life-like setting. The expressions and the dialogue made me feel I was in the apartment as an invisible observer. It was a very interesting way to bring a rainbow of cultures together at the beginning and blend them into a 'not a big deal' union of differences. As the play progressed and the plot intensified, I became emotionally involved to the point of extreme anger and disgust toward the attitude they displayed for each other's differences. [Some scenes] were too real. This is not a criticism of the content of the play but kudos to the actors who did their job very well and made me feel the way I did during the performance. It was interesting how the audience reacted to a couple of the scenes with either a silence in the theatre where one could hear a pin drop to the gasps of a couple of hundred people in the scenes I previously mentioned. Fantastic job by all the actors in making this message of all of our deepest beliefs and prejudice come quietly to life within us. For me, this was a personal awakening of how we have to change what is wrong in our society"
"I am very pleased that you choose to mix up your show selection with comedy, music, and drama. Most of your productions are rewarding and satisfying in every way. When we heard that we would be sitting through a serious 90 minutes with no break, we entered with a bit of trepidation, but we did not need to worry with Disgraced. The play was engaging and held us captive for the full duration. I thought the characters were cast very well. The story is so thought provoking it is still percolating in my mind over 24 hours later. Thank you for treating us to this special show as we start another season at the Stanley"
"A terrific piece of theatre–thought-provoking issues, superbly acted"
"The sub-line saying the show is a shattering cultural collision is absolutely true. I feel perhaps there needed to be a prologue to prepare the audience before the play. Patrick Sabongui's portrayal of Amir was quite brilliant. The whole cast deserved a standing ovation but we, the audience, were too stunned to give it to them. The scene of domestic abuse was almost too real to handle. We needed someone to debrief us after the play as our emotions were left in such turmoil. My friends and I tried to debrief on our own, but we wished we had a leader to help"
"Thoroughly enjoyed the play! The acting was undeniably excellent. It certainly made me think about other people's values and traditions and to keep an open mind. Thanks for bringing this play to us"
"Very thought provoking–made you think about how you would respond in a similar situation. Also reminded me why I hate dinner parties! Highly recommended"
"Thought provoking and somewhat frightening. Very powerful. Exhausting. Fabulous acting"
"Fabulous production on all levels–acting, direction, set–and a great way to kick off the new season. The Arts Club's play selection committee must be psychic, as Akhtar's writing couldn't be more relevant as divide-and-conquer Harperites ramp up racist election hysteria. Special kudos to Patrick Sabongui as Amir and the peerless director, Janet Wright"
"This play was very powerful. There were moments where the audience gasped in shock. The ending, though heartbreaking, is dramatically honest. The play effectively explores the misunderstandings, the bias, and the prejudice between the Western world and Muslim culture"
"Powerful, topical, and excellent acting"
"Great acting performances by the entire cast! A very good production!"
"Absolutely phenomenal. Powerful, thought provoking, and delivered with such conviction. And with what is happening at this moment in our world...WOW! What a great piece of theatre to open the season. Where is the truth between naivety and profiling?"
"Wasn't sure when I read the description of the played but really enjoyed it. The time flew by and it really made me think about how deep values are that we are raised with"
"I wasn't looking forward to seeing this drama as it seemed a bit too dark. I took my 14-year-old daughter hoping that I hadn't made a huge mistake. She loves musical theatre and opera, but has had little experience seeing plays–this was her first drama. We were engrossed within the first few minutes. The set was beautiful and the cast were strong and believable. At the end my daughter whispered 'that was so good.' We loved it"
"Current and gripping! Excellent cast. One of my favourite non-musical productions"
"Enjoyed the play immensely. Sad it was ending so soon. Very powerful!"
"Excellent show, one of the best! Very thought provoking–gives you lots to talk about later"
"What a wonderful start to the season! A thought provoking play with relevant contents to today's world. Great actors that had me enthralled throughout"
–Dawn, North Vancouver
"Powerful play. My husband and I both agree that this performance is on our top 5 list since we started attending the Stanley as season patrons–our 8th year. Excellent performances and the content stays with you for days. Well done!"
–Janice, North Vancouver
"Excellent–one of the best. The cast is superb. The script was very informative and topical. I like the 7:30 PM start"
"One of your very best productions. Gripping story. Superlative acting"
- Starring Marci T. House, Robert Moloney, Patrick Sabongui, Conor Wylie, Kyra Zagorsky
- Director Janet Wright
- Set Designer Ted Roberts
- Costume Designer Barbara Clayden
- Lighting Designer Marsha Sibthorpe
- Sound and Projection Designer Candelario Andrade
- Assistant Director Kevin Bennett
- Stage Manager Jan Hodgson
- Assistant Stage Manager April Starr Land