Disgraced, the story of an American lawyer born in Pakistan who is forced to confront his Islamic heritage, has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the organization has announced.
Ayad Akhtar’s play gives the account of Amir Kapoor, a highly successful mergers and acquisitions specialist who is about to be made partner in his prestigious firm and who vigorously rejects the tenants of the religion into which he was born. When, at his nephew’s insistence, he reluctantly agrees to represent an imam whose arrest may have been unjust, he discovers sensitivities he did not know he had. New York Times critic Charles Isherwood called Disgraced “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.”
The Pulitzer Prize jury, which included Washington Post critic Peter Marks and acclaimed playwright Donald Margulies, selected Disgraced over two other finalists: Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles (enjoying an extended run at Studio Theatre) and Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn.
4000 Miles is the story of a troubled young man who acquires unexpected wisdom from his 91-year-old grandmother, an unreconstructed leftist, after bicycling cross-country to New York. DCTS’ Ben Demers praised Herzog’s “quietly powerful script” and noted that the story was “a tightly plotted character study that teaches that at their core, most people just want to be heard and loved.”
Rapture, Blister, Burn, which Isherwood called “intensely smart, immensely funny new play,” has three generations of women look back on the modern history of feminism, and the personal and political impact it had on them. Gionfriddo is the author of Becky Shaw, soon to open at Round House, which was also a Pulitzer finalist (in 2009).