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WUDS (Warwick University Drama Society)
University of Warwick, CV4 7AL Coventry, United Kingdom
Welcome to the auditions for Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, which will be performed in Week 5 of Term 2 in the Humanities Studio.
Background of the play:
Set in post-9/11 America, what happens when four adults from diverse backgrounds come together for a dinner that centres around conversations about heritage, Islamophobia and Muslim immigrants’ identity issues? When the discussion turns to politics and religion, the mood quickly becomes heated. Described as a «combustible powder keg of identity politics,» the play depicts racial and ethnic prejudices that «secretly persist in even the most progressive cultural circles.» Ayad Akhtar, who won the Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama in 2013, has written an incredibly relevant theatre piece that intentionally shocks the audience’s notions of racial and religious tensions. This is unlike anything ever seen before in the Warwick theatre space, and is thus, an incredibly exciting project to be a part of.
About the auditions:
-In the first round, we will ask you to prepare one of your chosen characters’ extracts (which will be posted on this page shortly). You do not need to memorise at all, but familiarity with the extract and character description is necessary.
-If you are recalled, you’ll take part in a group workshop which will explore cast and character dynamics, for this you would not need to prepare anything.
*****NOTE: THIS IS A RACE AND GENDER SPECIFIC CAST*****
Race and gender cannot be altered due to the play’s implicit and explicit dealings with each character’s background that builds necessary tension for the play’s climax. Thus, our cast has to be quite specific (outlined below). If you match with anyone of the character descriptions, we welcome all to audition regardless of ability or experience. Particularly, if you identify as a South Asian male or an African female, we urge you to audition for this play. If you feel that university workload/no previous experience will hinder you, please do contact us (details below) to dispel any worries.
Auditions will be held on the following days:
• 14th November (Tuesday): 6-8 pm at S1.141
• 15th November (Wednesday):
o 1-3 pm at H3.55
o 3-6 pm at H2.45
• 16th November (Thursday): 6-8 pm at H3.56
Please sign up for a slot on the doodle link below:
Recalls will be provisionally held on Saturday, 18th November.
Character descriptions are written below and extracts will be posted on this page shortly. If you have any questions at all, want to audition outside of the specified times above, or any other thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact Nadeem Lala at [email protected]
or call/text him at 07521076781.
***ALSO NOTE: CONTENT WARNINGS***
The dialogue in this play engages with racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, religious extremism, strong language and many more provocative notions, including a scene of physical violence.
AMIR (SOUTH ASIAN MALE)
Amir is an American of Pakistani origin, in his 30’s and holds a senior position at a top law firm in New York. He is the lead character of the play and is characterised by his disdain towards his ethnic identity, particularly regarding his beliefs on Islam. Amir speaks in a perfect American accent and is married to Emily. He is charming and smooth, but also quick-tempered and easy to provoke, and as the play progresses, years of pent up anger is slowly exposed through his dialogue.
ABE JENSEN (SOUTH ASIAN MALE)
Abe is Amir’s nephew and of Pakistani origin as well. Abe is a typical American college student and speaks in a perfect American accent as well. In contrast to Amir, he feels strongly connected to Islam which results in underlying tension between him and Amir. Abe feels closer towards Emily, he is empathetic, vibrant and endearing when we see him at the beginning of the play.
EMILY (NON-MINORITY FEMALE)
Emily is a white American and married to Amir, she is an artist who works closely with Isaac and has specialist knowledge on Islamic history, architecture and culture. As a result, she constantly challenges Amir’s notions about Islam. Emily is intellectual and highly empathetic, and is usually the voice of reason and balance during conversations.
ISAAC (NON-MINORITY MALE)
Isaac is a white American and of Jewish origin, he is also a highly intellectual artist that works closely with Emily. He is married to Jory and is characterised by his sharp and witty humour. He is quick to challenge pre-conceived notions about people’s beliefs, which results in heavy underlying tension in the conversations between him and Amir.
JORY (AFRICAN FEMALE)
Jory is Amir’s colleague and also holds a senior position at the same law firm as him. She is married to Isaac and is characterised by being fiercely independent and headstrong. She also holds strong political views but like Emily, also seeks to be the voice of reason and balance during conversation.
*LINK TO AUDITION EXTRACTS:
We look forward to meeting you at auditions!