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Award-winning artists will discuss money as new religion in new play

Artists also debate inherited identity, pull between country of origin and residency

  • Ayad Akhtar and Kimberly Senior to participate in free event
  • Scenes from Ahktar’s new play will punctuate discussion
  • Event to be held Nov. 7 at Northwestern’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts

EVANSTON - Award-winning artists will come together at Northwestern Arts Circle on Nov. 7 for a conversation about the modern world of finance and art’s role in addressing societal ills.

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Ayad Akhtar joins Jeff Award-winning director Kimberly Senior to also talk about what makes an American identity and the pull, for immigrants, between country of origin and residency.

The discussion takes place at 7 p.m. at Josephine Louis Theatre, located inside the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston.

The discussion will be moderated by Harvey Young, chair the School of Communication’s Department of Theater, and Bruce Carruthers, director of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies and chair of the Weinberg College of Arts and Science’s Department of Sociology.

Ahktar and Senior will discuss their collaboration on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Disgraced” as well as themes at work in Akhtar’s new play, “JUNK: The Golden Age of Debt.” Northwestern theater students, directed by Senior, will punctuate the discussion with scenes from the play. “JUNK,” set in the 1980s, explores the ways in which finance has changed society.

Ayad Akhtar and Kimberly Senior in conversation” is free to attend. Register here.


  • Ayad Ahktar is a novelist, playwright, actor and screenwriter, whose work addresses the identity politics of belonging and acceptance.
  • Kimberly Senior directs seven productions of Ahktar’s “Disgraced,” including the Tony-nominated Broadway production. She also developed the first two productions of Akhtar’s play, “The Who, the What, and the Where.” Senior is the recipient of the 2016 TCG Alan Schneider Award.

Ayad Akhtar and Kimberly Senior in conversation” is co-presented by Arts Circle, Department of Theatre, Global Humanities Initiative, the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

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