July 6th, 2017 - July 23rd, 2017
Black Box Studios presents Misty Easler, Alex Hughes, Katie Housley, Hemang Sharma, and Laurence Wallace in a new production of The 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama.
Amir Kapoor is a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots. Emily, his wife, is white; she's an artist, and her work is influenced by Islamic imagery. When the couple hosts a dinner party, what starts out as a friendly conversation escalates into something far more damaging...
Directed by Matt Okin
Produced by Huey Esquire & Black Box Studios
"…a continuously engaging, vitally engaged play about thorny questions of identity and religion in the contemporary world, with an accent on the incendiary topic of how radical Islam and the terrorism it inspires have affected the public discourse. In dialogue that bristles with wit and intelligence, Mr. Akhtar…puts contemporary attitudes toward religion under a microscope, revealing how tenuous self-image can be for people born into one way of being who have embraced another…Mr. Akhtar's cut-crystal dialogue is so stimulating. Everyone has been told that politics and religion are two subjects that should be off limits at social gatherings. But watching Mr. Akhtar's characters rip into these forbidden topics, there's no arguing that they make for ear-tickling good theater." —NY Times
"…blistering social drama about the racial prejudices that secretly persist in progressive cultural circles…Akhtar knows how to build a scene and maintain suspense, so there's a sense of inevitability about the damage that's done over the course of the evening. But because of the artful construction, it still comes as a shock when the two couples go into attack mode." —Variety. "What makes DISGRACED impressive is that Akhtar, having invented four educated, intelligent adult characters, lets the burgeoning mess articulate itself through their interaction…you rarely feel the playwright nudging them in the right direction." —Village Voice
July 6 (Preview) through July 23, 2017
Thursdays at 8PM
Fridays at 8PM
Saturdays at 8PM
Sundays at 3PM and 7:30PM
On Thursday, July 6, actor, poet, and comedian Neil Fleischmann will get things started, leading the Opening Night talkback.
Famed immigration attorney and law professor Michael J. Wildes will lead the talkback following the Thursday, July 13 performance.
“America’s Rabbi” Shmuley Boteach, whom The Washington Post and Newsweek call “the most famous Rabbi in America,” leads the talkback following the Sunday, July 16 7:30 performance, which promises to be a rousing and provocative conversation.
On Thursday, July 20, Rabbi Steven Sirbu of Temple Emeth in Teaneck will lead the discussion, drawing upon his background in theater and his extensive work in community relations.
After the Sunday matinee, July 23 at 3:00pm, Yvonne L. Witter, PHR, President, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Bergen-Passaic Chapter, will lead a talkback discussion.
Finally, creative artist and Teaneck International Film Festival Executive Director Jeremy Lentz leads the post-performance chat following the closing performance on Sunday, July 23 at 7:30 PM. Bios for all of the talkback leaders appear below.
Misty Easler (Jory) For nearly 15 years, Misty has honed her craft studying with such industry notables as Howard Fine, Trudy Steibl, the late Thelma Carter, and Deena Levy - this after studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts . Her performance experience spans theatre, film and television projects in New York and Los Angeles, from the leading role as Raaji in Collateral Bodies, an award-winning stage play, to showcase roles at Deena Levy Theatre Studio, Howard Fine Studios, and Mannie Greenfield Theatre, to film projects from 44 Dawgs Productions ("Jive Chicken") and Marc Levin Productions ("Brooklyn Babylon"). Misty's voice-over commercial for Humana ran 4 years straight nationwide. She has also developed herself as a highly reputable, professional make-up artist. Her early vocal training with Barbara Christopher led to spotlight performances at legendary NYC venues like the the Barrymore theatre , Tatou, and Sweetwaters. Her own cabaret show, Moods of Misty, was well received at Harlem's Geshan Café in NYC and at Café Romas in LA. She has been seen in the short film "Elephants Lie", in "Wish you Were Here" , and in several independent projects including the Calm Thesis Film project "We Argue About Love"; in the lead role of Dr. Lina a serial killer in the Sapphire Productions horror short "Therapeutic". She is currently filming an independent feature, "Haitian V", a romantic comedy. Misty believes there are no limits to our dreams as long as we have the courage to pursue them.
Katie Housley (Emily) is a New York City based actress originally from Toronto, Ontario. Recent theatre credits include Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Alliance Repertory Theatre), the U.S. National Tour of Encore! (Chamber Theater Productions), Midnight on a Monday at the Midtown International Theatre Festival (nominated for best short subject), and Juliet in the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Annual Shakespeare Benefit. Katie is a recent graduate of the conservatory program at Stella Adler and is delighted to be making her Black Box Studio debut in Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize winning play Disgraced!
Alex Hughes (Abe) is a proud Philadelphia native. He is a graduate of Atlantic Acting School at Tisch School of the Arts. Alex is the co-creator of "Bound: The Series", available on Vimeo. Recent credits include The Stranger in Ibsen's Lady From The Sea, and Shamraev in The Seagull. Love always to Mom, Dad, Clara, and Mr. Fish. officialalexhughes.com Instagram: ahughes1313
Hemang Sharma (Amir) is an Indian-born American actor. He trained at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and has performed in various productions across New York City throughout the last three years. Hemang enjoys portraying different ethnicities and nationalities as it gives him a chance to explore and connect with a wider audience. Disgraced is a dream project for him, as he hopes to do justice exploring the complexities of 'Amir Kapoor'. This fall, Hemang will be making his feature film debut in acclaimed director Onur Tukel's new movie, 'The Misogynists'.
Laurence Wallace (Isaac) is thrilled to return to the BBPAC for this production of Disgraced. Laurence played Martin in Edward Albee's The Goat Or, Who Is Sylvia? at BBPAC in December 2016, Clive/Edward in Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9 in February 2017, and just last month he created the role of Moshe Nussfogel in Skip & Rivka's Not-So- Kosher Interactive Wedding Experience. His previous theater credits include Red, The Realistic Joneses, Purlie Victorious, A Soldier's Story, ART, The Death of a Salesman, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue, and True West. Thanks to everyone in the cast and the creative team who worked SO passionately to make this production of Disgraced at BBPAC possible! Thanks to all the extraordinary teachers and students at HB Studio in Manhattan. And a special thanks to Stan, Maska, my siblings and my amazing parents!!
Matt Okin (Director) founded Black Box Studios in 2007 and opened Black Box Performing Arts Center in November 2015. Recent directing credits include: Skip & Rivka's Not-So-Kosher Interactive Wedding Experience, Cloud 9, The Goat Or, Who Is Sylvia?, Blood Brothers A Musical, Evil Dead The Musical, Bad Jews, RMTI’s new production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, True Groove Productions’ Diana & Navy & The Golden Tooth, The Pillowman, and Passing Strange (all at BBPAC); the Off-Broadway premiere of Huey Esquire's This Time, A New Musical Romance (at Theater For The New City, as well as BBPAC); and the BBS Ensemble's Falsettos “In Concert”, House Of Blue Leaves, and Next To Normal (bergenPAC), among many others. As a playwright, director, and composer, Matt's original musicals include: Out Of Whack: The All-Kids Rock Musical (devised, at Theater For The New City), Soul Searching (45th Street Theater, DR2 Theater, D-Lounge, and the NYMF), Generations (various NYC venues and NYMF), and A Match Made In Manhattan: The Interactive Jewish Wedding Experience (NYC and national tours). Other original plays, produced both in New York and on national tours include: Second Chances, Twist Of Faith, Walter Liked To Sit In His Big Backyard, Cherry Hill, The Ugly Wife, and Pigs. Matt received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts. He has two grad school/college-age daughters, Rachel and Arielle.
Huey Esquire (Producer) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, playwright, filmmaker, improviser, and veteran of the early days of Black Box Studios. “Recovering” from a 20 year career as an entertainment and intellectual property lawyer, Huey co-founded Black Box Performing Arts Center, where he is Managing Director, resident Musical Director, and Improv Headmaster. In late Summer 2015, Huey began a developmental workshop of his original musical This Time, A New Musical Romance – for which he has written book, music, and lyrics – that continues development after an Off Broadway run, a collaboration among NYC’s famed Theater for the New City, Black Box Studios, and Huey’s own Generrus Theatreworks. Recent musical direction credits include (Scene work from) American Idiot, Blood Brothers A Musical, Evil Dead The Musical, RMTI’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Hair, and a concert version of his own This Time, all at BBPAC; recent production credits at BBPAC include The Goat Or, Who Is Sylvia?, Bad Jews, True Groove Productions’ Diana & Navy & The Golden Tooth, The Pillowman, and Passing Strange.
Disgraced is presented in special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service, Inc., NY.