Summer Book Bingo: A Recommendation from Intiman Theatre’s Phillip Chavira

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! Swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and spend the summer of ’17 reading great books.

In this guest post from Phillip Chavira, the new Executive Director of Intiman Theatre, we learn why he picked Disgraced, the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, as this summer’s bingo recommendation. (Pro-tip: it might be a perfect answer to your “genre that is new to you,” “by an author of color,” or “finish in a day” square. . .)


By Phillip Chavira, Executive Director of Intiman Theatre

Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced was the third most produced play in the U.S. in 2016, and after reading the script, I understand why.

Pakistani American Amir lives a privileged life as a successful lawyer with an American Anglo wife. His Muslim heritage is challenged by the media, his family, colleagues, and friends, and drives him to ultimately question his progress as an American. Akhtar opens discussions of religious fragility and how our community can tie us to norms, when in fact, we as unique and thoughtful humans can make radical choices. This gripping drama will test your limits on faith, romance, and gender disparities.

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I grew up in the Southwest, and as a Mexican American who was raised Roman Catholic, I understand some of Amir’s internal struggles. I remember many nights debating biblical and church philosophies with my family and feeling lonely in my choices. How do we evolve when we are sanctioned by manuscripts and years of heteronormative behaviors and practices? Self identity is key to this growth, and Akhtar shows the struggles when trying to find one’s own.


Thank you, Phillip!

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