Disgraced opens at Milwaukee Repertory Theater


CONTACT: Frances White, Director of Media Relations

414-290-5362 or fwhite@milwaukeerep.com

www.MilwaukeeRep.com | @MilwRep  | #DisgracedMKE






“A Sparkling and Combustible Contemporary Drama.” – Bloomberg

“Terrific, turbulent, with fresh currents of dramatic electricity,

Disgraced comes roaring to life!” – New York Times

“Unfolds with speed, energy and crackling wit.” – AP


January 5, 2017- [Milwaukee] Milwaukee Repertory Theater  presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, written by one of the most in-demand playwrights of today Rep Associate Artist Ayad Akhtar in the Quadracci Powerhouse beginning January 17 through February 12According to American Theater Magazine, Disgraced was the most produced play around the country in the 2015/16 Season, and now for the first time it makes a homecoming to Milwaukee, the hometown of playwright Ayad Akhtar.


Disgraced portrays an unexpected clash of cultures proving cataclysmic when Amir, a successful Pakistani-American lawyer, and his wife host a dinner party.  With snap judgements and assumptions thrown across the dinner table, Disgraced asks whether there is truly room in this day and age to retract and forgive.


Disgraced features Jason Babsinksy (Broadway’s Billy Elliot), Janie Brookshire (Broadway’s The Philanthropist), Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (Barrymore Award for The Invisible Hand at Theater Exile), Imran Sheikh (The Invisible Hand at ACT), Austene Van (Disgraced at Guthrie and McCarter).


Disgraced is written by Pulitzer Prize-winner and Rep Associate Artist Ayad Akhtar (The Invisible Hand from the 2015/16 Season) directed by Marcela Lorca (Guthrie Theater Director of Company Development), with set design by James Youmans (Broadway’s West Side Story), costume design by Ana Kuzmanic (Broadway’s August: Osage County), lighting design by Rui Rita (Broadway’s Trip to Bountiful), and sound design by Scott Edwards (Guthrie Resident Sound Designer).


Disgraced begins performances January 17 and runs through February 12 in the Quadracci Powerhouse.   Opening night is set for Friday, January 20 at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at 414-224-9490 or in person at the Ticket Office (108 E. Wells Street).


Disgraced has been chosen as the one play this season for The Rep’s Community Conversations Program.  This means that after every performance of Disgraced The Rep will provide audiences the opportunity to discuss challenging topics including identity, religion, politics and Islamophobia through panel discussion, facilitated dialogues with leaders form the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion, and Intercultural Dinners moderated by InterFaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.  This program is sponsored in part by Cream City Foundation Will Radler Fund.  For more information and to join the conversation online visit www.TalkIdentity.com.


Executive Producer for Disgraced is Judy Hansen, Associate Producer are Catherine and Buddy RobinsonDisgraced is a co-production with Guthrie Theater and McCarter Theatre. The Rep is sponsored in part by The United Performing Arts Fund.



January 17 – February 12 (Opening Night Friday, January 20 at 8pm) in the Quadracci Powerhouse

Written by Ayad Ahktar

Directed by Marcela Lorca

Disgraced is a co-production with Guthrie Theater and McCarter Theatre.


Community Conversation Programming

Intercultural Dinners: Every Monday during the run of the show The Rep will host 100 people from diverse backgrounds to have dinner and talk about who we are, where we come from, and why it is important to us and our community. Guests will share their own experiences in a safe space, with conversations led by moderators from the InterFaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.


Conversation with Playwright Ayad Akhtar:  Community members can join Milwaukee’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright for this special pre-show conversation on Wednesday, January 18.  Tickets for that evenings performance are required for entry.


Facilitated Dialogues: Every Tuesday, Thursday and weekend evenings following the performance join your fellow audience members in a well-rounded and fulfilling post-show reflection led by professional discussion leaders from the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion.


Panel Discussions:   After select performances, experts will discuss themes in the play with Rep audiences. Panel topics include:

  • Identity Politics on January 21 after the 4pm performance.

Moderated by Nate Imig, Managing Producer & Community Partnerships Manager for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee with panelists Andy Nunemaker, CEO of Dynamis Software Corporation; Richard Esenberg, President of Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and Paula Penebaker, President & CEO at the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin.


  • No Politics at Dinner: How do we discuss difficult topics? on January 22 after the 2pm performance.

Moderated by Jim Higgins, Arts & Books Editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with panelists Dr. Katherine Wilson, Executive Director of the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion; Dr. Irfan A. Omar, Associate Professor of Theology at Marquette and editor of Islam and Other Religions: Pathways to Dialogue (2006) and A Christian View of Islam: Essays on Dialogue by Thomas F. Michel, SJ (2010); Elana Kahn, Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Bonnie North, Lake Effect Co-Host/Arts Producer at 89.7 WUWM.


  • Being Brown: The complexities of identity in post-9/11 America on January 28 after the 4pm performance.

Moderated by Rahul Dubey, Information Security Analyst for Rockwell Automation with panelists Dr. Louise Cainkar, President of the Arab American Studies Association, Marquette Associate Professor, and author of Homeland Security: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience after 9/11; David Muhammad, Violence Prevention Manager at the City of Milwaukee Health Department and Mohammad ElBsat, Senior Engineer at Johnson Controls.


  • Identity in the Workplace on February 4 after the 4pm performance.

Moderated by Mark Kass, Editor-in-chief of the Milwaukee Business Journal with panelists Vivian King, Vice President of Community Relations at Aurora Health Care and Raquel Filmanowicz, Director of U.S. Community Affairs at BMO Harris Bank.


  • Journeys of Self: Evolving Identities on February 12 after the 2pm performance. 

Moderated by Nate Imig, Managing Producer & Community Partnerships Manager for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee with panelists Pastor Marilyn Miller, Pastor of The Lutheran Church of the Reformation; Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum, Rabbi at Congregation Shir Hadash and Sarah DeGeorge, Executive Assistant at the UWM


Intercultural and Actor TalkBacks:  Each week, we’ll hear from community members as they share their unique experiences and insights gained from the Intercultural Dinners. Also, actors from Disgraced will take audience questions and share their perspectives on the complex issues in the play.  TalkBacks take place on Wednesdays following the 7:30pm performance starting January 25, Sundays Jan 29 and February 5 after the 2pm performance, and Saturday Feb 11 following the 4pm performance.

Rep-in-Depth: a pre-show conversation with Austene Van who plays “Jory” in the play occurs approximately 45 minutes before curtain for every performance.

For more information on all of these events please visit – ww.TalkIdentity.com


Professionals and Out-n-About LGBT Night: Thursday, January 19 – reception begins at 6:30 pm; Disgraced performance 7:30 pm.  A pre-show networking reception offered in partnership with the African American Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Social X.  For just $25, you receive a ticket to the performance and a preshow reception featuring appetizers and beer.  Use code PROS when ordering. After the show stay for a Zeidler Center Facilitated Dialogue.


Milwaukee Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon with Ayad Akhtar: Thursday, January 19 at 11:45am – 1:15pm at the Newsroom Pub, 137 E Wells Street.  The public is invited to attend as Akhtar is interviewed by a panel of Milwaukee Journalist and takes questions from the audience.  For more information and to register visit the website – www.MilwaukeePressClub.org


Bosewell Books:  Join the conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar for this free event on Saturday, January 21 at 11am (2559 N Downer Avenue) www.boswellbooks.com


Access Services

Audio-Described Performance: Tuesday, January 24, 6:30pm – the show will be described for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

Captioned Theater Performance: Sunday, February 12, 2pm – the show includes captions.

American Sign Language Interpreted Performance: Thursday, February 9, 7:30pm – the show will be signed for patrons who are deaf or have low hearing.



Tickets: www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at 414-224-9490, or at the Ticket Office at 108 E Wells Street, Milwaukee.

Hours: 12noon – 6pm; on performance days the Ticket Office remains open until 15 minutes past curtain.

Student Discounts: Students 18 and under can purchase $20 tickets for select seating areas.

35 & Under: Select tickets available for $20 for patrons 35 & Under. (Select 35 & Under price at checkout online)

Group Sales: Discounted tickets for parties of 10+. Call 414-290-5340.


About Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Milwaukee Rep is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and full-scale musicals housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol, which featured a World Premiere of a new adaptation in 2016, at the historic Pabst Theater.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity.



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