Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Pak-American playwright finds his groove  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 14/06/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Arab News) In a sun-splashed rehearsal room recently at lincoln center the knives were out for ayad akhtar's new play.

its four-person cast and director were running through 'the who & the what" and it was agonizing start-and-stop stuff. virtually every line was picked apart.

the most surprising thing was that the person with the sharpest knife was akhtar himself the author of 'american dervish" and the newly crowned pulitzer prize drama winner.

an actor stopped a scene to say he thought another character actually wouldn't do something in the script. 'we'll see. we could cut it" akhtar replied genially.

at another point the playwright took a line cut from an earlier moment and resurrected it welding it into another scene. he also sliced four lines from a character explaining 'we've heard that 400 times already" and later stopped the run-through to admit that the sequence he wrote wasn't working.

'guys i'm sorry" he said. 'thank you for rolling with it."

most playwrights wouldn't be so keen to wield a scalpel to their own work but akhtar one of theater's most vibrant exciting young writers is not precious about it.

'i don't experience it in my body until actors are doing it" he says. 'their human flow is something i can only know fully when they start doing it. they give me feedback through the doing. sometimes they give me feedback from the inside that i can't even know."

akhtar a pakistani-american has found rich material in the fault lines between east and west and his new play is no exception.

'the who & the what" centers on an asian writer whose potentially shocking novel about women threatens to tear her family apart.



it's a thought-provoking work one that smashes together references to 'big love".

'this play would start riots in some countries even though it's a very loving play ultimately and in an odd way very respectful" akhtar says. 'so many muslims will not agree with what i'm doing and others will."

the play marks the fourth time the playwright has collaborated with director kimberly senior and the pair have become fast friends who now share a secret language and push each other.

'both of us have this tremendous fear of making boring theater" senior says. 'every decision we're making is about keeping tension alive and keeping the action of the play moving forward."

akhtar 43 is these days like his plays — moving ever forward. in addition to 'the who & the what" which opens this month at lincoln center theater he's reworking his play 'the invisible hand" for the new york theater workshop this fall which is when his play 'disgraced" hits broadway. this winter he's due in berlin to finish writing another book. oh and there's a play about wall street he's just finished.

'i'm very monastic in a way. i feel very very responsible to this" he says. 'i waited so long to connect to myself as a writer that i can't think of anything i'd rather be doing anyway."

a graduate of brown and columbia universities with degrees in theater and film akhtar is the son of doctors who grew up outside milwaukee. drama and friction were part of his everyday life.

'i grew up in a punjabi house. everyone's yelling at each other all the time" he says laughing.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Feb 8 2016 - Genel and DNO receive US21.5mln for Tawke in January Proactiveinvestors UKProactiveInvestors - UK
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - UK) Oil producer Genel Energy (LON:GENL) has received notification from partner DNO that US$18mln has been paid for oil from the Tawke field in Iraq ro January. A ...

 Feb 8 2016 - Newspaper Briefing: January sales spurt provides relief for retailersProactiveInvestors - UK
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - UK) Proactive Investors Fri The Times January sales spurt provides relief for retailers: The souring economic mood failed to dampen the spirits of consumers who ...

 Feb 8 2016 - SP Angel Morning Oil Gas Genel Energy Union Jack Oil Petroceltic InternationalProactiveInvestors - UK
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - UK) SP Angel 09:53 Headlines Union Jack Oil* (LON:UJO0.12p)Keddington-5 Extension: Today's news of Keddington-5 is good for the Company as you have to make a ...

 Feb 8 2016 - Yemen's army advances towards Sanaa, officers saySaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Riyadh, Rabi'II 28, 1437, February 07, 2016, SPA - After having tightening its grip over Ghailama region, located in Mahali valley, the Yemeni army, assisted by the ...

 Feb 8 2016 - A fire flares up at Riyadh-based Al-Hammadi hospital efficiently contained by Red Crescent squadsSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Riyadh, Rabi'II 29, 1437, February 08, 2016, SPA - Red Crescent fire extinguishing squads have efficiently put out a fire that flared up at Riyadh-based Al-Hammadi ...

 Feb 8 2016 - Almost 90 of people in southern Syria live in extreme poverty ReportThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) At least 88 percent of families in the southern Syrian provinces of Daraa and Qunaitra are living in extreme poverty due to the ongoing civil war in the ...

 Feb 8 2016 - Citing betrayal some Syrian rebels withdraw from frontThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Syrian rebels in northern Syria have come under an intense week-long bombing campaign by Russian warplanes. The insurgents who also have been trying to hold ...

 Feb 8 2016 - Middle East is Zika-free zone, WHO saysSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Cairo, Rabi'II 29, 1437, February 08, 2016, SPA - The Middle East office of the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that the region is considered Zika-free ...

 Feb 8 2016 - Genel and DNO receive US21.5mln for Tawke in JanuaryProactiveInvestors - UK
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - UK) Oil producer Genel Energy (LON:GENL) has received notification from partner DNO that US$18mln has been paid for oil from the Tawke field in Iraq ro January. A ...

 Feb 8 2016 - Saudi PressSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Riyadh, Rabi'II 29, 1437, Feb 8, 2016, SPA - Saudi newspapers highlighted in their editorials today a number of issues at local, regional and international arenas. ...

more...


 






Google

Internatinal Property Show

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help