PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT AYAD AKHTAR
JOINS MILWAUKEE REPERTORY THEATER AS AN ASSOCIATE ARTIST
**Milwaukee Rep will celebrate the work of the Wisconsin native playwright with a four-year commitment to producing his work including a commissioned world premiere play**
May 11, 2015 – [Milwaukee] – Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced at its “Made in Milwaukee” 2015 Gala on Saturday, May 9 that 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winner Ayad Akhtar will join The Rep as an Associate Artist to provide guidance and expertise to The Rep’s growing new play development efforts. During that time, The Rep will feature a four-season showcase of Akhtar’s work, beginning with three of his existing plays produced one each season, culminating in the production of a world premiere commission.
Ayad Akhtar declared: “I am so thrilled to be joining MRT as an Associate Artist. Having grown up here, Milwaukee will always be home to me, and I can’t think of a greater honor than for my work to have found its way onto MRT’s stages. I am so looking forward to being part of the artistic dialogue in our city for the next few years, and as an Associate Artist for many years to come.”
“I believe that world-class cultural institutions like Milwaukee Repertory Theater have a serious responsibility to support, initiate, develop, and produce new plays that will not only provide thrilling, meaningful, and life enhancing experiences for our own diverse audiences, but will also provide the lifeblood that helps secure the future health of American theatre and a proliferation of next generation theatergoers,” stated Artistic Director Mark Clements. “Ayad’s body of work and its intended audience, correlates very well with that philosophy and we feel honored and blessed to have him add his considerable talent and influence to this important work at Milwaukee Rep.”
“As part of our new strategic plan, we are increasing our commitment to not only commission, but produce, new work,” commented Managing Director Chad Bauman. “To have a world-class playwright like Ayad, who is deeply committed to Milwaukee, join our company as an Associate Artist to help guide our new play development efforts is a dream come true.”
Ayad Akhtar grew up in Milwaukee and attended Brookfield Central High School. He graduated with a degree in theater from Brown University and earned a Master of Arts degree in directing from Columbia University School of the Arts. His plays include: Disgraced (2012 Pulitzer Prize, 2012 Obie Award, and 2015 Best New Play Tony Award nomination); Invisible Hand (running February 24 – April 3, 2016 in The Rep’s Stiemke Studio); and The Who & The What, a new play The New York Times described as “a fiery and probing new play, crackling with ideas.” In addition to his work as a playwright, Akhtar is also an actor (The War Within) and a novelist (American Dervish).
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, full-scale musicals, housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the beautiful and historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, The Rep is committed to creating plays that are meaningful and relevant to the society we live in – plays that are challenging, visceral and engage the community through the issues they explore, demonstrating how a theater deeply rooted in its locality can also enjoy a richly influential and resonant national voice.