THOUGHTS: Disgraced at Berkeley Rep

Dinner party - Disgraced

(l to r) Bernard White (Amir), Nisi Sturgis (Emily), Zakiya Young (Jory), and J. Anthony Crane (Isaac) in Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, an engrossing and combustible drama that probes the complexity of identity, at Berkeley Rep.
Photo credit: Liz Lauren

It seems Pakistani-American Amir Kapoor (Bernard White) is living the American Dream. He has an Upper East Side apartment complete with a balcony; a beautiful, blonde, artist wife Emily (Nisi Sturgis); and he is poised to make partner at his corporate law firm. But one New York Times story, and an explosive dinner party with his co-worker Jory (Zakiya Young) and her husband Isaac (J. Anthony Crane) threatens to shatter everything that he has worked for.

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SPOTLIGHT: Cornerstone Theater Company

Cornerstone Theater Company is based in Los Angeles, CA and is dedicated to producing theater with and for the community.  This very concept is what makes Cornerstone so unique.  A typical production at Cornerstone combines professional artists with members of the community. The members of the community all have vary in levels of theater experience, ages, and cultural backgrounds.   Furthermore, the themes of their plays tackle topical issues that the community is currently facing.  Since its inception in 1986, Cornerstone has “commissioned more than 50 playwrights, produced over 80 new works, trained over 2000 students in our methodology, and worked with tens of thousands of people across the country.”

“Any theater that has a result in mind is not having a conversation.”

– Michael John Garcés, Artistic Director

Image Credit: Cornerstone Theater Company

Image Credit: Cornerstone Theater Company

Its vision statement says it all. “We envision a world transformed through the recognition that every individual has the capacity for creativity and each has a story worth telling. We believe that theater can catalyze dialogue around crucial issues and bring together disparate communities. We believe that conversations about the urgent issues of our times must include many voices and diverse perspectives.”

Its current cycle of plays, The Hunger Cycle, consists of new work that addresses the issues of hunger and social justice.  This cycle will span over six years, and nine plays will be produced.  Tonight through April 13, Lunch Lady Courage is playing at the Cocoanut Grove Theatre in Los Angeles.  Check out the trailer for Lunch Lady Courage and get a taste of what Cornerstone is all about (below).