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Junk: A Play
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About the Author

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An award-winning author, playwright, screenwriter, and actor, he is the author of a novel, American Dervish, published in over twenty languages worldwide, and was nominated for a 2006 Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay for the film The War Within. His plays include Disgraced, produced at New York's Lincoln Center Theater in 2012 and on Broadway in 2014 and recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; The Who & The What, produced at Lincoln Center Theater in 2014; and The Invisible Hand, produced at New York Theater Workshop in 2014. He has been the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo, as well as commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing. He lives in New York City.

Reviews

"Forget about all the TV pundits and op-ed columnists droning on about America's problems. Playwright Ayad Akhtar is the diagnostician the nation needs to interpret its faltering health.... In JUNK: THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEBT, his thrilling new play...Akhtar takes on the equally explosive subjects of modern finance and the new religion of money. And once again he provides an unflinchingly candid cross section of attitudes and positions in which our sympathies and antipathies keep shifting along lines that are too complex to be straightforwardly ideological.... What's most impressive about JUNK is the brilliant way Akhtar crunches the social, political and economic data of this greedy new world, a precursor to the way we live today."--Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

"Whip-smart.... An intimate, accessible tale on an epic canvas.... Akhtar writes crackling, rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue like David Mamet, but it's infused with Shakespearean scope and pop-culture references. There are nods to the Bard's Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and history plays, lines from the Bible and the 1987 film Wall Street and the freewheeling exuberance of The Wolf of Wall Street."--Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune "A massively ambitious play. It succeeds magnificently on many levels, and it should head to Broadway where it will be not only close to Wall Street, but even more accessible to those many in the public with a growing fascination in finance, economics, and social policy."--Brad Auerbach, Forbes "JUNK unfolds like a big, blockbuster novel-lots of twists and turns, and goods and evils (okay, mostly evils). It's an epic seduction, in fact, that involves everyone in the piece. At the same time, the playwright underpins the antics with serious themes and key questions."--Jeff Smith, San Diego Reader
"[A] Shakespearean history play of spiraling national consequence."--New York Times
"Maybe, someday, we can live down the 1980s. But not any day soon, if Ayad Akhtar has anything to do with it"--Variety
"Akhtar smartly captures the amorality and toxicity of greed."--Huffington Post
"an exceptional work."--Village Voice
"engrossing from start to finish."--AM New York
"It's a modern Shakespeare history war play....We don't have kings and queens in America. What we have are super successful Wall Street tycoons.-- Steven Pasquale, actor
"With 17 characters, JUNK is bigger in scale than Mr. Akhtar's previous plays, but it bears his signatures-it is fast, funny, ruthless and dark."--Michael Sokolove, New York Times

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