Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar, Playwright

Photo by Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

Representative Plays:

The Invisible Hand (2014)
Disgraced (2012)
The War Within (2005) 


Ayad Akhtar was raised in Milwaukee, WI and credits his high school teacher for introducing him to writing. He studied acting and theatre at Brown University and received an MFA from Columbia University in Film Directing. His college thesis screenplay became the independent film The War Within, which was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards. His first play Disgraced won him the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (and was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play). Akhtar was the recipient of the 2015 OBIE Award and Outer Circles Award for his play The Invisible Hand. As an actor, Akhtar also appeared in his college thesis film The War Within and the HBO original film Too Big To Fail. In 2017, Akhtar's play Junk premiered at New York's Lincoln Center, directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt). Junk is set on Wall St. in the 1980's and tells the story of a financier's ruthless takeover of a manufacturing company.

Source: NYU Contemporary Playwrights of Color


NYU Contemporary Playwrights of Color Website

Resources found in the UC Berkeley Library Database:

(CalNet authentication required) 

Disgraced (Monologue) 


Pakistani, American

Disclaimer: This playwright profile is part of the BIPOC Playwrights Project, a resource for theater educators and practitioners. Playwrights listed on this website are not necessarily affiliated with UC Berkeley or the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.