Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

The Drama Book Shop Video: Playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi Talk DISGRACED

Josh Radnor, Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi at a book talk and signing at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Josh Radnor, Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi at a book talk and signing at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The Pulitzer Prize winning play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar starring Hari Dhillon, Gretchen Mol, Danny Ashok, Karen Pittman and Josh Radnor, celebrated its 100th performance at the Lyceum Theatre last week, and will play its final Broadway performance on Sunday, March 1, 2015.
Disgraced Lyceum Theatre
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Disgraced received Obie and Joseph Jefferson Awards under the direction of Kimberly Senior, who helmed the two previous US productions.

Josh Radnor, playwright Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi discuss DISGRACED at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Josh Radnor, playwright Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi discuss DISGRACED at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

On January 22, 2015, The Drama Book Shop in New York presented a book talk featuring playwright Ayad Akhtar and Josh Radnor, who costars in the current Broadway production.

A book signing followed the conversation, moderated by Aasif Mandvi, who starred in Lincoln Center Theater’s Off-Broadway production.


Disgraced is the story of a successful Muslim-American lawyer and his wife — an artist influenced by Islamic tradition — enjoying their comfortable and successful life on New York’s Upper East Side. When a co-worker and her husband come to dinner, what begins as polite table conversation explodes, leaving everyone’s relationships and beliefs about race and identity in shards.

DISGRACED playwright Ayad Akhtar at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

DISGRACED playwright Ayad Akhtar at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Akhtar is the author of American Dervish, published in 2012 by Little, Brown and Company in more than 20 languages worldwide, and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His play Disgraced premiered in New York at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in 2012, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2013 Obie Award for Extraordinary Achievement and the 2013 Jeff Award for New Work, and is currently on Broadway through March 1, 2015. His latest plays, The Who & The What (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and La Jolla Playhouse) and The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop/The Repertory Theater of St. Louis) made their New York premieres in 2014. As a screenwriter, he co-wrote and starred in The War Within (Magnolia Pictures), which was released internationally and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. As an actor, Akhtar also starred as Neel Kashkari in HBO’s adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book Too Big to Fail. He has received commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and fellowships from The Yaddo Foundation and The MacDowell Colony. He is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia School of the Arts.

Good pals Aasif Mandvi and Josh Radnor at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Good pals Aasif Mandvi and Josh Radnor at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Josh Radnor wrote, directed, and starred in two films, both of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before being released in theaters: The Audience Award-winning happythankyoumoreplease opposite Kate Mara, Malin Akerman, and Tony Hale and Liberal Arts opposite Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, and Zac Efron. He was last seen in Jill Soloway’s Afternoon Delight (Sundance, 2013) opposite Kathryn Hahn and Juno Temple. Recently finished a nine-season run playing Ted Mosby on CBS’s Emmy-nominated comedy How I Met Your Mother. His other television credits include guest appearances on ERSix Feet Under, and Law & Orderamong others. He was a series regular on ABC’s The Court starring Sally Field. He made his film debut in the original teen spoof Not Another Teen Movie. On Broadway he played the title character in The Graduate opposite Kathleen Turner. Off-Broadway and regionally, he has appeared at the Manhattan Theater Club, The Vineyard Theater, and Baltimore Center Stage, among others. In Los Angeles, he appeared in the Ovation Award-winning world premiere production of Jon Robin Baitz’s The Paris Letter. Most recently Josh appeared in New York Stage and Film’s world premiere production of Richard Greenberg’s The Babylon Line, directed by Terry Kinney.

Aasif Mandvi is well known for his work as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s Emmy-winning show, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He is currently writing, producing, and starring in HBO’s upcoming series, “The Brink” co-starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins. November marked the release of his memoir, No Man’s Land, a collection of humorous and personal stories published by Chronicle Books. Aasif received rave reviews for his performance as ‘Amir’ in the Lincoln Center production of Ayad Akhtar’s  Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, and received an Obie Award for Sakina’s Restaurant, which he both wrote and starred in.

Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration

Tickets ($37.50-$138) for Disgraced are available by calling Telecharge.com at 212-239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com, or at the Lyceum Theatre box office (149 West 45th Street).

Performances are Tuesdays at 7PM, Wednesdays at 2PM and 7PM, Thursdays at 7PM, Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2PM and 8PM, Sundays at 3PM.

www.disgracedonbroadway.com

Related Articles:
Bloomberg.com:`Disgraced’: Charlie Rose (01/30)
Photos: Playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi Talk DISGRACED at The Drama Book Shop
Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration
Jan. 22: DISGRACED Discussed with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi at The Drama Bookshop
Ayad Akhtar’s THE INVISIBLE HAND Stars Usman Ally, Justin Kirk, Jameal Ali and Dariush Kashani at New York Theatre Workshop through January 4, 2015
Multimedia: Yellow Face Reading & Book Signing w/ David Henry Hwang, Kathryn Layng, Francis Jue, w/ guest Edward Albee

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Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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