Mark S. Weiner

Posts Tagged ‘Ayad Akhtar’

“Disgraced” and the Law

In Aesthetics, narrative, form, Cross-cultural encounters & comparisons, Islam, Law and literature on October 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Two weeks ago, as the first chill of fall was descending on New England, I caught the train to Manhattan and strolled happily to Lincoln Center. One reason I was happy is that along the way I was able to stuff my briefcase full of truffles at the first chocolate store I could find. But I also knew I was going to watch some excellent theater.

I have been thinking about the experience ever since.

The play was “Disgraced,” by Ayad Akhtar, and this new production was held in the Claire Tow Theater, an experimental stage whose well-appointed intimacy is ideally suited to exhibit the dramatic kinesis and collision of the play’s four characters. The actors seem so close that they might as well reach into your chest directly as they rip out your heart (which, by the end of a taut ninety minutes, believe me they do).

Perhaps I feel so passionately about the play because of the friends with whom I saw it. The group included a religiously devout Muslim military officer from a major nation in the Middle East. He had never before seen a play—this was his first experience of theater, ever. When I looked at him as the lights came up, I had a profound understanding of the meaning of the word “catharsis” and a renewed appreciation of the power of art. Read the rest of this entry »