About Disgraced China Tour
“With grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in China, and major support from Chinese sponsor Mr. Sha Ye, Chinese hosts and local partners, Ping Pong Productions brought Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer-winning drama, "Disgraced", to China's academic institutions April 3-30, welcoming discussions with Chinese students about race and religion in post-9/11 America.
"Disgraced" toured 14 universities, high schools, academic institutions, and cultural centers in 5 cities across China, reaching more than 10,000 students through performances, workshops, and discussions. The positive response we received from students and cast members was overwhelming - we invite you to learn more below!
Terrific, turbulent, with fresh currents of dramatic electricity, Disgraced comes roaring to life on Broadway!
Ayad Akhtar finds urgent dramatic connections that serious theatergoers crave.
About the Project
Disgraced is the story of a dinner party attended by a Pakistani-American lawyer, his Caucasian wife, his African American colleague, and her Jewish husband. The heated discussion that erupts reveals hidden aspirations, fractured views on cultural assimilation, and the lies we tell ourselves and those we love to “fit into” the American Dream.
Disgraced won the 2013 Obie Award for Extraordinary Achievement and was nominated for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. Disgraced was the 2015-16 season “most produced play in America.”
Ayad Akhtar is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, actor, and novelist. His plays The Invisible Hand and The Who and the What have both enjoyed successful runs off-Broadway. His 2012 novel American Dervish has been translated into twenty languages worldwide.
The goal of our 2017 China university tour of Disgraced is to inspire in-depth discussions with students and communities about the racial, religious, gender and cultural issues at the core of today’s global society.
Panel discussions with experts, the director and cast accompanying each performance explored the complexities of America’s distinct melting pot. This uniquely American story serves as a vehicle through which Chinese audiences can reflect on larger issues relevant to contemporary society.
Through the themes addressed in the play, this tour aims to inspire reflection and meaningful, constructive engagement about the most relevant issues our world faces today.
“Disgraced” China Tour Schedule
- April 5-7 Beijing No. 4 High School
- April 8 Tsinghua University Art Museum
- April 9 Beijing America Center, U.S. Embassy
- April 11 Peking University Yenching Academy
- April 13-14 16:00-17:00 & 19:30-22:00: Hunan University of Science and Technology
- April 17 Xi'an International University
- April 18-19 Xi’an International Studies University
SHANGHAI & NANJING
- April 21 Shanghai No.3 Girls High School
- April 22-23 Nanjing University
- April 25-26 Shanghai Jiaotong University
- April 27 YK Pao School
- April 28 Shanghai American School
"Disgraced is an extremely educational piece because most of us will also face similar questions on identity when we go to the U.S. This is a very good reminder for us. The play centered on many problems that hopefully my generation can solve. I simply loved it... It was a very timely relief for us, as we are pressured by academics. This event is so impactful on all of our lives in ways you couldn’t imagine. We all are so grateful for your visit."
- Li Tianjiao, Grade 12, Beijing No. 4 High School
"This program left such a deep and beautiful impression on all of our students and teachers. It inspired enthusiasm in our students to learn, and was exponentially more effective than a typical classroom lecture. The power of this example is infinite, the troupe was generous, knowledgeable, encouraging, clearly superior professionals in their field. They sowed seeds of hope in the sensitive hearts of our teachers and students that will bear fruit in the future. Thank you for your outstanding work!"
- Sean Chenghui Wang, Professor,
Hunan University of Science and Technology
"I haven’t seen any stage play like yours that talks about controversal issues in such a thorough way. It had such an impact on me... the media seldom focuses on these things. I really hope there are more dramas like this coming to universities to encourage college students to better understand our society."
- Peng Mai(Michael), Nanjing University
"The Q&A session was filled with unexpected passion. One hour was not enough for the student audiences to ease their enthusiasm. Questions rushed in one after another, each had a deeper interpretation of the play than the other."
- Cecilia Lin, Grade 11, YK Pao School
"It all still feels like I dreamed it. It was surreal and beautiful and strange and glorious and adventurous. I'm proud of our little theatrical players’ family and what we did. From the whirlwind process to the people we met and preconceptions we shattered, the crazy food, and even crazier sights. What an amazing crew that took everything about China and threw it back with some of the best and barest work I've had the pleasure of doing. Thank you， Timothy Douglas, Alison M. Friedman, and my amazing cast Ivy Vahanian, Rachel Leslie, Samip Raval, and Ariel Shafir. What an incredible journey. I have learned so much about myself and who I am while doing my art. And isn't that the point? Ever grateful."
- Fajer Al-Kaisi, "Disgraced" Lead Actor