“The very best theater is a transformative experience that shakes you to your core and makes you feel something and think about the world a different way. Nancy Bell’s great gift is the ability to capture your heart and take you with her in the footsteps of Molly Rush.”
“This a first-rate production of a play which, if it punts the ultimate question of whether or not its heroine’s sacrifice was really all that great or all that effective, nevertheless deserves to be seen and debated.”
“★★★★. (Nancy) Bell’s performance is richly textured as she reveals Molly’s deep reservoir of hope and commitment that the homemaker sees as complementing her love for her family rather than combating it.”
“Director Seth Gordon keeps things moving briskly in the one-act production, and the script by Tammy Gordon, based on the book ‘Hammer of Justice,’ is smart and thoughtful. ‘Molly’s Hammer’ is a story that deserves your time and attention.”
“Director Seth Gordon tells a dynamic story in the simplest of terms. It resonates with today’s audience because of how close we may be again to a dangerous time in history where the world could easily become endangered by the worst enemy of all - man.”
“There’s another story here. It’s about how marriage works, how differences are found and argued over and bargained about and maybe resolved, how adjustment can occur and how belief in the other person can sustain. I left thinking more about that thread than the one about civil disobedience.”
Watch The Rep’s panel on Islam and other “Disgraced” coverage
After opening to excellent reviews, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced has since built a tremendous buzz and sparked profound and necessary conversations among our audience members.
In addition to those great lobby conversations, we hosted our own panel on Islam in America last month featuring Disgraced playwright Ayad Akhtar and local Muslim leaders Dr. Ghazala Hayat of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and Faizan Syed of CAIR-St. Louis.
The three talked about their personal and communal experiences following 9/11, as well as how Disgraced represents Islam as a play. Thanks to our partners at Howl Round TV, you can watch the entire panel below. (Please note: audio kicks in 5 minutes into the video).
We’ve also seen some great coverage from the local media:
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted several excellent columns on the show that are well worth reading:
“Disgraced” review roundup: “It will shake your sensibilities to their core.”
Disgraced arrived at The Rep with an impeccable pedigree: a Pulitzer Prize winner, Broadway hit and the most-performed show in American theatre this season. Based on the enraptured response of audiences and now critics, The Rep’s production of Ayad Akhtar’s masterful play has done the script proud.
We’re compiling all of the local critical reactions in this space, so be sure to keep checking back as the reviews continue to roll in!
“★★★★★. This Pulitzer Prize winning play will shake your sensibilities to their core. ... The performers in ‘Disgraced’ are magnificent. Seth Gordon’s direction realizes everything that is important and vital about this production. There are moments of cutting humor in ‘Disgraced.’ There are also so many varied, powerful personal elements swirling around in this explosive story that it is bound to strike a responsive chord with everyone.”
“‘Disgraced’ combines the unnerving honesty of Albee or Pinter with the raw ugliness of an unfiltered Internet screed. No matter what your views are — on Muslims or Jews, on U.S. policy or the nature of loyalty — you are almost certain to hear something to make you wince. But thanks to Akhtar’s pungent script and Seth Gordon’s sophisticated direction, you’re going to hear it all, including things that you are unlikely to hear in any other setting, no matter who you are.”
“A dinner party ignites a powderkeg of simmering race and religion issues in the industrial-strength intense ‘Disgraced,’ a truly remarkable evening of theater. Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary play is a carefully calibrated drama that slowly builds to gasp-out-loud twists and turns, which had a totally invested audience on the edge of their seats opening night.”
“... An intense, powerful work that is equal parts emotional, thought-provoking and engrossing. ... Don’t miss this riveting and splendidly produced play by a major young playwright in American theater.”
“So well does [Akhtar] structure his drama and construct his dialogue, and so tight is the pace in director Seth Gordon’s production at The Rep, that the play and its characters held me, even as I was aware that I was being taken over ground I was already familiar with. Theatre makes it real in a way that discussions and debates never can.”
“This play couldn’t be more timely. It raises questions about race, gender, religion, group and self-identity, and forces everyone to confront their own biases. The play offers no easy answers or pat solutions but does demand attention and conversation.”
“Seth Gordon… masterfully guides the St. Louis premiere of this sobering cautionary tale that is taken from today’s headlines and yet has a timeless, universal message about the fragility of character, reputation and life itself.”
“‘Disgraced’ will not be an easy play for many to see. It brings up the current tenor in so many conversations and feelings in the world today and the depiction of savage outbursts through both dialogue and action may leave you weak-kneed. But this is important theatre at the highest level. You will not want to miss it if you are a fan of realistic drama with superb direction and outstanding performances.”
The Backstage Blog is your chance to...well, go "backstage" at The Rep. We'll be posting all sorts of insider information, about upcoming productions, about the process of bringing a play from the page to the stage, about design challenges and cast conundrums—everything that goes into making a show special. Check back often for the latest updates!