Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents “The Who & The What”

August 31, 2017 – [Milwaukee] Milwaukee Repertory Theater  presents The Who & The What, a brilliant new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar in the Stiemke Studio beginning September 27 through November 5.


The Who & The What stars Rep newcomers Brian Abraham (Broadway’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opening Spring 2018) as Afzal, Soraya Broukhim (Petrol Station at BAM) as Zarina, Ben Kahre (MTC The Commons of Pensacola) as Eli, and Nikita Tewani (ACT’s A Thousand Splendid Suns) as Mahwish.


The Who & The What is directed by Associate Artistic Director May Adrales (The Mountaintop), with scenic design by Andrew Boyce (An Iliad), costume design by Izumi Inaba (Goodman Theatre’s King of the Yees), lighting design by Noele Stollmack (McGuire), sound design by Andre Pluess (Broadway’s I Am My Own Wife) and dialect coach Eva Breneman (The Foreigner).


The Who & The What is a thrillingly fierce and funny new play about identity, religion, and the contradictions that make us who we are. Growing up Muslim with her close-knit family in Atlanta, Zarina is writing about women and Islam when she meets Eli, a young convert who bridges the gap between her modern life and traditional heritage. When her conservative father and sister discover her controversial manuscript, they all must confront the beliefs that define them. Called “a play not to be missed” by the Chicago Tribune, The Who & The What is a passionate and searing look at a family divided by faith, bonded by love, and searching for truth in contemporary America.


The Who & The What  runs September 27 and runs through November 5 in the Stiemke Studio.   Opening night is set for Friday, September 29 at 8 pm. Tickets to this powerful show are now on sale and can be purchased online at, by phone at 414-224-9490 or in person at the Ticket Office (108 E. Wells Street).


The Stiemke Studio Season is sponsored by Ed Seaberg and Patrick Smith.  Executive Producers for The Who & The What are Joel and Caran Quadracci. The Rep is sponsored in part by The United Performing Arts Fund.


The Who & The What Public Performance Calendar

Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change



::Fact Sheet::


The Who & The What

September 27 to November 5 (Opening Night Friday, September 29, at 8 pm) in the Stiemke Studio

Written by Ayad Akhtar

Directed by May Adrales


Talks and Events

Rep-in-Depth: a pre-show conversation with a member of the cast or artistic team.   Rep-in-Depth occurs approximately 45 minutes before curtain for every performance.

TalkBacks: a discussion with members of the cast and artistic team following the 7:30pm performance on the following Wednesdays: October 4, October 11, October 18, October 25, and November 1.

For more information on these events please visit:–Events/Events/


Community Events


Community Conversations Panels

“The Role of Art in Promoting and Dismantling Stereotypes”

Sunday, October 1st, following the 2pm performance


“Fathers and Daughters”

Sunday, October 8th, following the 2pm performance


“Contemporary Women in Religion: An Interfaith Discussion”

Sunday, October 15th, following the 2pm performance


“Depictions and Perceptions of Prophet Muhammad”

Sunday, October 22nd, following the 2pm performance


“Muslim Women Speak Out!”

Sunday, October 29th, following the 2pm performance


Saturday, November 11 from 11am to 4pm- Open Mosque Day
Hosted in collaboration with the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
The Who & The What takes you inside the home of a Muslim-American family; The Islamic Society of Milwaukee would like to invite you inside their doors for an Open Mosque Night after the run of the show! Don’t miss this special opportunity to meet your Muslim neighbors and learn more about their faith and beliefs.
• ISM Brookfield | 16670 Pheasant Dr. Brookfield, WI 53005
• ISM Main Center | 4707 S. 13th St. Milwaukee, WI 53221
• ISM University | 2223 E Kenwood Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53211



Access Services

Audio-Described Performance: Thursday, October 12, 7:30pm – the show will be described for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

American Sign Language Interpreted Performance: Thursday, October 19, 7:30pm – the show will be signed for patrons who are deaf or have low hearing.



Tickets:, 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, featuring 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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