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2019 Classes

An Evening with Ayad Akhtar and J.T. Rogers: Politcal Theater in the United States

640 356 Play Penn

Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to learn from these influential and legendary writers at PlayPenn.

Internationally acclaimed playwrights Ayad Akhtar (Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Nomination, Disgraced; The Who and the What, Junk)  and J.T. Rogers (The Overwhelming, Blood and Gifts; Tony Award, Oslo, PlayPenn Conference, 2015) have transformed the American theater scene with their searingly political works, which have been produced all over the world. In this one-night only session, Rogers and Akhtar will cover everything from the nitty-gritty of playwriting to broader questions about the American and world theatre.

June 24, 2019; 7-10pm

Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street

Ayad Akhtar is the author of Junk (Lincoln Center, Broadway; 2018 Kennedy Prize for American Drama); Disgraced (Lincoln Center, Broadway; Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony nomination); The Who & The What (Lincoln Center); and The Invisible Hand (Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, Olivier and Evening Standard nominations). As a novelist, he is the author of American Dervish (Little, Brown & Co.) published in over 20 languages. Recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2017 Steinberg Playwriting Award, 2017 Nestroy Award, as well as fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, the Sundance Institute, and Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. He is a Board Trustee at PEN/America and New York Theatre Workshop.

J.T. Rogers’s plays include Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater, then Broadway; National Theatre, London, then West End); Blood and Gifts (Lincoln Center Theater; National Theatre); The Overwhelming (National Theatre, then UK tour with Out of Joint; Roundabout Theatre); White People (Off Broadway with Starry Night Productions); and Madagascar (Theatre 503, London; Melbourne Theatre Company). He is a three-time PlayPenn Conference writer, where he developed Oslo (PlayPenn, 2015), Blood and Gifts (PlayPenn, 2009), and The Overwhelming (PlayPenn, 2005). For Oslo he won the Tony, New York Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lortel, and Obie awards, and was nominated for the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards. As one of the playwrights for the Tricycle Theatre of London’s The Great Game: Afghanistan he was also nominated for an Olivier Award. His works have been staged throughout the United States and in Germany, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Israel, and Norway. Rogers’s essays have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, and the New Statesman. He is a Guggenheim fellow and has received three NYFA fellowships in playwriting. Rogers is a member of the Dramatists Guild, where he is a founding board member of the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund. He is an alum of New Dramatists and holds an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Tuition: $50

Student price: $30 (must present valid student ID at the event)

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Click the link below to visit our Reservation Page, where you can view all classes and register for this course. For questions or to inquire about payment plans, please email

“PlayPenn instructors genuinely care about helping students improve their writing, and have the practical experience to back up what they teach.”

-Mark C., 2018 Student

“I was nervous, but excited before I took this class. And I was very excited when it was finished. I can’t wait to write!”

-Michelle P., 2018 Student