DETAILS

Approximate Running Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes with one intermission
Recommended Age: 13 and Up

A Brilliant New Play

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Disgraced and The Invisible Hand comes a thrillingly fierce and funny new play about identity, religion, and the contradictions that make us who we are. Growing up Muslim with her close-knit family in Atlanta, Zarina is writing about women and Islam when she meets Eli, a young convert who bridges the gap between her modern life and traditional heritage. When her conservative father and sister discover her controversial manuscript, they all must confront the beliefs that define them.Called “a play not be missed” by the Chicago Tribune, The Who & The What is a passionate and searing look at a family divided by faith, bonded by love, and searching for truth in contemporary America.

“Crackles with intelligent truth." — Los Angeles Times

 
The Who and The What Video Trailer

ARTISTS


Brian Abraham*
Afzal


Soraya Broukhim*
Zarina


Ben Kahre*
Eli


Nikita Tewani*
Mahwish


Ayad Akhtar
Playwright


May Adrales
Director

 

Andrew Boyce
Scenic Designer

Izumi Inaba
Costume Designer

Noele Stollmack
Lighting Designer

Andre Pluess
Sound Designer

Dale Brown Casting
Casting

Frank Honts
Casting Director

Eva Breneman
Dialect Coach

Richelle Harrington Calin*
Stage Manager

Kyle Winkelmann
Stage Management Fellow

Sophiyaa Nayar
Assistant Director

Nabra Nelson
Dramaturg

 

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

To read bios for the artists listed above please click here. Bios begin on page 24.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

EVENTS

PRE
SHOW

Rep-in-Depth
A pre-show conversation with Sophiyaa Nayar, Assistant Director. Rep-in-Depth occurs approximately 45 minutes before curtain for every performance.

 

SUN
OCT 1
AFTER
2PM PERF.

Panel: “The Role of Art in Promoting and Dismantling Stereotypes”
Curated by the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
How can art impact attitudes, behaviors, and values in communities? Is art created solely for the sake of the artist, or does it have greater intellectual and societal impact?
Panelists include:
· Dr. Randa Suleiman, Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Alverno College and MMWC Board member.
· Margaret Noodin, Director of the Electa Quinney Institute of American Indian Education and Associate Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
· Reggie Jackson, Head Griot at America’s Black Holocaust Museum
· Dr. Mushir Hassan, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Elmbrook, St. Francis, and Franklin Hospitals

 

WED
OCT 4
2PM

Boswell Books
Join director May Adrales, as well as, actors Brian Abraham and Sorarya Broukhim as they discuss Ayad Akhtar’s The Who & The What at Boswell Book Company (2559 N Downer Ave, Milwaukee, WI).

 

WED
OCT 4

TalkBacks
Join members of the cast and artistic team to discuss the production immediately following the performance.

 

SUN
OCT 8
AFTER
2PM PERF.

Panel: “Fathers and Daughters”
Join fathers and daughters from throughout the city to hear perspectives on the influence of father-daughter relationships in moments of disagreement and difference.
Panelists include:
· John and Sarah Kordsmeier
· Percy and Aliah Duckworth
· Jarrett Luckett, Executive Director of Exploit No More

 

WED
OCT 11

TalkBacks
Join members of the cast and artistic team to discuss the production immediately following the performance.

 

THUR
OCT 12
7:30PM

Audio-Described Performance
Patrons of this performance may receive an earpiece, providing live description of the action on stage. Check in at the Concierge Desk pre-show to pick up your earpiece.

 

SUN
OCT 15
AFTER
2PM PERF.

Panel: “Contemporary Women in Religion: An Interfaith Discussion”
Curated by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
A discussion with women from a variety of faiths in Milwaukee to discuss contemporary conceptions of womanhood in their religion.
Panelists include:
· Shauna Singh Baldwin, Award-winning novelist and playwright
· Sister Kathy Slesar, Vice President and former Director of Vocations for the Racine Dominicans
· Reverend Sandra Banks, Pastor of Jerusalem Empowered African Methodist Episcopal Church
· Rabbi Toba Schaller, Rabbi-Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun
· Armita Saleki, student at MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism

 

WED
OCT 18

TalkBacks
Join members of the cast and artistic team to discuss the production immediately following the performance.

 

THUR
OCT 19
7:30PM

ASL Interpreted Performance
This performance interpreted in American Sign Language. For more information about designated seating call the Ticket Office at 414-224-9490.

 

SUN
OCT 22
AFTER
2PM PERF.

Panel: “Depictions and Perceptions of Prophet Muhammad”
Curated by the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
Revered by 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world, yet misunderstood and even maligned by some: Prophet Muhammad continues to evoke deep emotions.
Panelists include:
· Imam Noman Hussain, Resident Imam at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee-Brookfield
· Zehra Tahir, Vice-Principal and Islamic Studies Department Chair at Salam School and MMWC Board member
· Attorney Othman Atta, Islamic Society of Milwaukee
· Janan Najeeb, President of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition and Director of the Islamic Resource Center 

 

WED
OCT 25

TalkBacks
Join members of the cast and artistic team to discuss the production immediately following the performance.

 

SUN
OCT 29
AFTER
2PM PERF.

Panel: “Muslim Women Speak Out!”
Curated by the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
Do Muslim women need to be saved from their faith and culture? Join us as Muslim women share their thoughts and invite the audience to engage in robust discussion.
· Janan Najeeb, President of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition and Director of the Islamic Resource Center
· Reema Ahmad, Community organizer
· Bushra Zaibak, General Manager at Hayat Pharmacy and Outreach Chair & Board member at the Islamic Society-Brookfields
· Dr. Dima Adl, M.D. Pulmonary and Critical Care physician and MMWC board member
· Zehra Tahir, Vice-Principal and Islamic Studies Department Chair at Salam School and MMWC Board member 

 

WED
NOV 1

TalkBacks
Join members of the cast and artistic team to discuss the production immediately following the performance.

 

SAT
NOV 11
11AM-4PM

The Who & The What - Open Mosque Day
Hosted in collaboration with the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
The Who & The What takes you inside the home of a Muslim-American family; The Islamic Society of Milwaukee would like to invite you inside their doors for an Open Mosque Night after the run of the show! Don’t miss this special opportunity to meet your Muslim neighbors and learn more about their faith and beliefs.
• ISM Brookfield | 16670 Pheasant Dr. Brookfield, WI 53005
• ISM Main Center | 4707 S. 13th St. Milwaukee, WI 53221
• ISM University | 2223 E Kenwood Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

FEATURES & PRESS

VIDEOS

 
 
 

Video Preview

Video Preview
 
 
 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PHOTOS

REVIEWS

PODCAST


Community Conversations Ep. 1: The Role of Art in Promoting and Dismantling Stereotypes

How can art impact attitudes, behaviors, and values in communities? Is art created solely for the sake of the artist, or does it have greater intellectual and societal impact? The following panelists joined us to share their thoughts after a performance of Ayad Akhtar's The Who & The What at Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Dr. Randa Suleiman (Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Alverno College and MMWC Board member), Margaret Noodin (Director of the Electa Quinney Institute of American Indian Education and Associate Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Reggie Jackson (Head Griot at Americaâs Black Holocaust Museum), and Dr. Mushir Hassan (Vice President of Medical Affairs at Elmbrook, St. Francis and Franklin Hospitals).


Community Conversations Ep. 2: Fathers and Daughters

Join fathers and daughters from throughout the city to hear perspectives on the influence of father-daughter relationships in moments of disagreement and difference. Panelists include John and Sarah Kordsmeier, Percy and Aliah Duckworth, and Jarrett Luckett, Executive Director of Exploit No More.


Community Conversations Ep. 3: Contemporary Women in Religion: An Interfaith Discussion

Curated by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
A discussion with women from a variety of faiths in Milwaukee to discuss contemporary conceptions of womanhood in their religion.
Panelists include:
· Shauna Singh Baldwin, Award-winning novelist and playwright
· Sister Kathy Slesar, Vice President and former Director of Vocations for the Racine Dominicans
· Reverend Sandra Banks, Pastor of Jerusalem Empowered African Methodist Episcopal Church
· Rabbi Toba Schaller, Rabbi-Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun
· Armita Saleki, student at MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism


Community Conversations Ep. 4: Depictions and Perceptions of Prophet Muhammad

Curated by the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
Revered by 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world, yet misunderstood and even maligned by some: Prophet Muhammad continues to evoke deep emotions.
Panelists include:
· Imam Noman Hussain, Resident Imam at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee-Brookfield
· Zehra Tahir, Vice-Principal and Islamic Studies Department Chair at Salam School and MMWC Board member
· Attorney Othman Atta, Islamic Society of Milwaukee


Community Conversations Ep. 5: Muslim Women Speak Out!

Curated by the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition Do Muslim women need to be saved from their faith and culture? Join us as Muslim women share their thoughts and invite the audience to engage in robust discussion.
· Janan Najeeb, President of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition and Director of the Islamic Resource Center
· Reema Ahmad, Community organizer
· Bushra Zaibak, General Manager at Hayat Pharmacy and Outreach Chair & Board member at the Islamic Society-Brookfields
· Dr. Dima Adl, M.D. Pulmonary and Critical Care physician and MMWC board member
· Zehra Tahir, Vice-Principal and Islamic Studies Department Chair at Salam School and MMWC Board member


 

September 27 – November 5, 2017
Stiemke Studio
by Ayad Akhtar
Directed by May Adrales

 

THE STIEMKE STUDIO SEASON IS SPONSORED BY ED SEABERG AND PATRICK SMITH

 

Executive Producers
Joel and Caran Quadracci