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Theatre / Disgraced

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Disgraced is a 2012 play by Ayad Akhtar.

It centers on a married couple in New York City, 2011-12. Amir Kapoor is a successful lawyer who is gunning to be a partner in his firm. He is also a Muslim by background, although he is not actively practicing. He's married to Emily, a white artist who has an affinity for Muslim culture. Amir has a nephew, Abe, who is not an American citizen despite having lived in the United States since he was eight.

Abe urges Amir to lend his legal expertise to an imam who has been jailed for what Abe says are totally false charges of collecting money for terrorist activities. A further source of tension is introduced when Emily's Jewish art world friend Isaac and Isacc's wife Jory come over for dinner. Jory, a black woman who works at the same law firm as Amir, knows something that Amir doesn't. And Emily and Isaac share a secret.



  • As You Know: When Abe comes calling in the opening scene, Emily does the audience a favor by referring to him as "your nephew."
  • Dramatic Shattering: Scene 3 starts with an angry Amir throwing his glass down on the balcony and shattering it. His career has gone south after he spoke out in defense of Imam Fareed.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Emily and Amir haven't had sex in the three months since Amir spoke out for the imam and was subsequently embarrassed by his name getting in the paper.
  • Meaningful Rename: Part of the denial of identity. Amir is not happy that his nephew changed his name from "Hussein Malik" to Abe Jensen. Abe points out that Amir is a hypocrite who changed his last name from "Abdullah" to the more Indian-sounding Kapoor. At the end Abe, angry at America and getting back to his Muslim roots, says he's changed his name back.
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  • N-Word Privileges: Amir reacts to finding out Jory got the partnership he wanted by saying that she thinks she's the n-word, but he's really the n-word. He does not have N-Word Privileges, and Jory gets very angry.
  • Shout-Out: Jory explains why she knows that the angel who brought the book of Mormon to Joseph Smith was named Moroni: "It was on South Park.
  • Spiteful Spit: The whole ugly confrontation between Amir and Issac about Isaac's thing with Emily ends with Amir spitting in Isaac's face.
  • Title Drop: In the last scene Abe says the West, with its imperialist occupation of Islam, has "disgraced" his religion.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Emily's confession that she cheated on Amir leads to him punching her in the face three times. In the last scene, they're getting divorced.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Isaac and Emily, both of whom were and are married to other people, had a fling in London. Isaac wants to start things again.

Example of: