“This is so crucial if we are truly to understand China”
With grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in China, and major support from Sha Ye, Chinese hosts and local partners, Ping Pong Productions brought Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer-winning drama, "Disgraced", to China's academic institutions April 3 - 30, welcoming discussions about post-9/11 race and religion in America to Chinese students.
Learn about the "Disgraced" tour in our feature in the Washington Business Journal.
"Disgraced" toured 14 universities, academic institutions, and cultural centers in five cities across China, reaching more than 10,000 students through performances, workshops, and discussions. The positive response we received from students and cast members was overwhelming - We invite you to learn more below!
"Disgraced is an extremely educational piece because most of us will also face similar questions on identity when we go to the U.S. This is a very good reminder for us. The play centered on many problems that hopefully my generation can solve. I simply loved it... It was a very timely relief for us, as we are pressured by academics. This event is so impactful on all of our lives in ways you couldn’t imagine. We all are so grateful for your visit."
- Li Tianjiao, Grade 12, Beijing No. 4 High School

"This program left such a deep and beautiful impression on all of our students and teachers. It inspired enthusiasm in our students to learn, and was exponentially more effective than a typical classroom lecture. The power of this example is infinite, the troupe was generous, knowledgeable, encouraging, clearly superior professionals in their field. They sowed seeds of hope in the sensitive hearts of our teachers and students that will bear fruit in the future. Thank you for your outstanding work!"
- Sean Chenghui Wang, Professor, Hunan University of Science and Technology

"I haven’t seen any Chinese stage play like yours that talks about controvertial issues in such a direct way. It had such an impact on me... Chinese media has never focused on these things. I really hope there are more American dramas that come to China and go to universities to awake students (to better understand society)." - Peng Mai(Michael), Nanjing University

"The Q&A session was filled with unexpected passion. One hour was not enough for the student audiences to ease their enthusiasm. Questions rushed in one after another, each had a deeper interpretation of the play than the other."
- Cecilia Lin, Grade 11, YK Pao School
See footage below of the cast and crew exploring China!
"It all still feels like I dreamed it. It was surreal and beautiful and strange and glorious and adventurous. I'm proud of our little theatrical players family and what we did. From the whirlwind process to the people we met and preconceptions we shattered, the crazy food, and even crazier sights. What an amazing crew that took everything about China and threw it back with some of the best and barest work I've had the pleasure of doing. Thank you Timothy Douglas, Alison M. Friedman, and my amazing cast Ivy Vahanian, Rachel Leslie, Samip Raval, and Ariel Shafir. What an incredible journey. I have learned so much about myself and who I am while doing my art. And isn't that the point? Ever grateful."
- Fajer Al-Kaisi, "Disgraced" Lead Actor
After our incredible success in China, Ping Pong Productions will host talks this summer in the United States with the director and cast about the tour. Follow us on Facebook for latest details and schedules.

Help bring "Disgraced" to your community. Your support will help cover travel and accommodation, venue rentals, artists' production expenses, translation, and education materials.

This tour is a testament to the power of the arts to bring people together to have hard conversations, not in a way that tears us apart, but in a way that shows us our shared humanity, despite our disagreements and differences.

There is so much anxiety in the world right now. It has never been more important to encourage this kind of constructive dialogue. In these crazy uncertain times, this work is more important today than ever before.

This is what Ping Pong Productions does, and we can't do it without your support. I invite you to join me in these efforts. Thank you!

Alison M. Friedman

Founder and Creative Director

Ping Pong Productions

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