Disgraced 

Confronting Islamaphobia at Berkeley Rep.

Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, has made its way from Broadway to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2015 Addison St., Berkeley), bringing shrewd director Kimberly Senior with it. The West Coast debut makes Disgraced the most produced play in the country this year, and for good reason: The explosive story about a Muslim-American man grappling with his both sides of his identity has never felt more prescient. Amir (Bernard White) hosts an upper-class dinner party with the hope of getting ahead at his law firm, but when sociopolitical conversations snarl the affair, it becomes clear that unspoken prejudices mar even the most progressive social circles. As Amir watches his American Dream crumble, he realizes that assimilation in a post 9/11 America may be futile after all. Riveting performances and even better writing render Disgraced worthy of the acclaim the play has received nationwide. It might just be the best, most poignant play you see this year.

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