Ayad Akhtar

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Disgraced is a 2012 play by novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar. It premiered in Chicago and has had Off-Broadway and Off West End engagements. The play, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater October 23, 2014. Disgraced has also been recognized with a 2012 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work – Play or Musical and a 2013 Obie Award for Playwriting. It is Akhtar's first stage play. The 2014 Broadway transfer earned a Tony Award for Best Play nomination in 2015.

The Story

Corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor is living a wonderful life: he is happy, in love with his wife, and about to land the biggest promotion of his career. But when he briefly helps his nephew with a case defending a man of Muslim faith, Amir’s career and personal life begin to slowly unravel. When Amir and his artist wife, Emily, host an intimate dinner party with their two colleagues and friends, he begins to realize that the life he has built for himself may be a façade. Does achieving a Western ideal of happiness mean that Amir has denied his true Pakistani heritage? The friendly dinner party soon escalates into an intense conversation involving religion, race and violence. Accusations are spoken, truths are revealed, and Amir’s life will never be the same again. Disgraced questions whether we can ever truly escape the confines of our upbringing and our heritage.

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Past Production

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The scene is the ornate, deserted Victorian boathouse on the Talley place in Lebanon, Missouri; the time 1944. Matt Friedman, an accountant from St. Louis, has arrived to plead his love to Sally Talley, the susceptible but uncertain daughter of the family. Bookish, erudite, totally honest, and delightfully funny, Matt refuses to accept Sally’s rebuffs and her fears that her family would never approve of their marriage. Charming and indomitable, he gradually overcomes her defenses, telling his innermost secrets to his loved one and, in return, learning hers as well. Gradually he awakens Sally to the possibilities of a life together until, in the final, touching moments of the play, it is clear that they are two kindred spirits who have truly found each other—two “lame ducks” who, in their union, will find a wholeness rare in human relationships.

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Past Production

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When it premiered in 1664, Moliere's classic satire of lust, deceit and false piety was denounced as a sacrilegious outrage and banned from further public view. So naturally, Kelsey Theatre and the award-winning team at PinnWorth Productions couldn’t resist bringing this 355-year-old comedy into the present day and current political climate for an evening of deliciously satirical fun.

Featuring a new translation by Ranjit Bolt, this is the story of Tartuffe, a religious hypocrite who capitalizes on the piety and ignorance of others to line his own pocket. The trouble begins when Tartuffe deftly worms his way into the affections and household of the wealthy Orgon, who he convinces to hand over his daughter in exchange for divine absolution even as he exercises a rogue’s lust for the man’s wife.

In a household of flummoxed folks, Dorine, the sassy maid, sees the imposter for what he is, yet no one else fully grasps the crisis descending on the family. Caught most desperately in the middle of the pretender’s scheming is the desirable but dutiful wife, Elmire, whose comic booty trap is a legend of theatrical comedy. Chaos reigns until Tartuffe is finally revealed for the imposter that he is.

As director Lou Stalsworth holds a mirror up to America for the evening, this play takes us on a very familiar but hilarious ride, eventually ending it all bigly, with a happy ending, and a touch of deus ex machina, and a dash of contemporary covfefe. Seriously, the ony thing missing from this comic masterpiece is a twitter feed.

For more details and a full synopsis see Wikipedia.

Past Production

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This legendary story of good versus evil is  the source of enduring fascination and the subject of the best selling novel by producer Isabel Allende and several major motion pictures. This new musical retells the dramatic tale of a romantic hero,  spectacular sword-fighting and incredible magic – all set to the famous red-hot Gipsy Kings beat brought to the stage with the authentic colors of traditional flamenco.

The  swashbuckling adventure story of  the legendary masked man comes to  Kelsey Theatre this January under the guidance of the prize-winning team from  PinnWorth Productions.

Diego / Zorro: Kevin Albanese
Luisa: Haley Schmalbach
Ramon: Shawn Simmons
Inez: Kate Bilenko
Garcia: Michael Wemer
Alejandro: Jim Morris

Francisco Javier Estrada, David Hartway, Jen Huckleberry, Tyler Huckleberry, Shelley Gail Weiss Lightman, Ivan Max, Graciela Monagas, Diego Pablo Montealegre, Jenna Moschella, Jason Nixon, Sonia Perez, Channing Roman, Stephen Roman, Sari Ruskin, TJ Sandor, Reva Sangal, Christopher Schmalbach, Darrell Watts, and Zoey Aliah Woody.

Past Production Highlights

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