Theater News

Pulitzer Prize Winner Ayad Akhtar Joins Arena Stage as Resident Playwright

Akhtar’s residency will be part of the American Voices New Play Institute.

Ayad Akhtar has been named Arena Stage resident playwright.
Ayad Akhtar has been named Arena Stage resident playwright.
(© David Gordon)

Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith has announced that Ayad Akhtar will be the theater’s next resident playwright as part of the American Voices New Play Institute. Akhtar's Pulitzer-winning Disgraced, which is now in previews at Arena Stage, completes the theater's 2015-16 season. The production officially opens April 28 and will run through May 29.

Through the Arena Stage residency, effective July 2016 through June 2017, Akhtar will receive a salary; health benefits; a budget to be used at his discretion to cover collaborator fees, workshop costs, and research expenses to support his new play development process; and a commitment from Arena Stage to produce a new work in a future season and to continue cultivating an ongoing, long-term relationship.

Along with residency guidance from Arena Stage director of artistic programming Robert Barry Fleming, Akhtar will also receive support from Institute dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke, who is currently a theater adviser to the Arts Council of Ireland and an associate artist with the Civilians.

"Ayad is an inspiration. His work is immediate, muscular, bitingly funny, thought-provoking and vital to the American theater," said Artistic Director Molly Smith. "His masterful use of language creates complex characters wrestling with the major issues of our day — identity, family, love, religion, race and politics. I expect this residency will challenge us both and I embrace it!"

For tickets to Disgraced, click here.

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Closed: May 29, 2016