Junk by Ayad Akhtar

Produced by Lincoln Center Theater, Junk premiered on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York City on October 5, 2017 and ran through January 7, 2018. Junk was first produced by La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA in 2016. Akhtar is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Ayad Akhtar is the author Disgraced, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, ran on Broadway, and was nominated for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. His plays The Who & the What and The Invisible Hand received off-Broadway runs and are currently being produced around the world, garnering nominations for the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards in London this past year. His most recent play, Junk, received its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in 2016, winning the Craig Noel Award for Best New Play, and opened on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater in the fall of 2017. As a novelist, he is the author of American Dervish, published in over 20 languages worldwide. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He is the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Steinberg Award for Playwrighting, 2 Obie Awards, a Jeff Award, and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award. Akhtar has received fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, the Sundance Institute, and Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. He is also a Board Trustee at PEN/America and New York Theater Workshop.

“Junk takes on the vexed question of inequity dividing American society. It trenchantly examines the financial behavior and the flawed system of thought in the 1980s that paved the way for the polarized world in which we now live—manufacturing debt. In doing so, it speaks directly to the aims of the prize, enlisting theater’s power to explore America’s past, and through that, speak to our present, so crucial to the health of our democracy.”


Carol Becker, Dean of Columbia University School of the Arts

Gabriel Kahane, songwriter

Steven Levenson, playwright

Kate Moira Ryan, playwright

James Shapiro, Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Iman Uzuri, composer

Kristoffer Diaz, playwright, educator

Mona Monsour, playwright

Shamus Kahn, Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology, Special Advisory to the Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences, Columbia University