Hammaad Chaudry '14 is One 3 Young People to Watch this Spring
February 26, 2018
Alumnus Hammaad Chaudry '14 is making his professional debut with his Columbia thesis play, An Ordinary Muslim, which is now playing at New York Theatre Workshop. The play tells the story of Azeem Bhatti and his wife Saima and their struggle straddling the gap between their Pakistani heritage and their British upbringing. Directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney, An Ordinary Muslim has put Hammaad on the radar.
Purva Bedi, Rita Wolf, Ranjit Chowdhry and Sanjit De Silva in An Ordinary Muslim at New York Theatre Workshop
Photo by Suzi Sadler
According to a recent New York Times article, Hammaad Chaudry is one of "3 Young People to Watch in Theatre this Spring," together with Rileigh McDonald, a 13-year-old actress in the play Good for Otto and Andrew Burnap, the star of The Inheritance in London. The article says that it was at Columbia where the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tony Kushner “took Mr. Chaudry under his wing,” and directed two readings of An Ordinary Muslim in 2014. “In a big break for a relatively young writer,” says the Times, "New York Theater Workshop agreed to present the play." The article also mentions how Chaudry explores Islamophobia and what it means to be a Muslim today in the same vein as alumnus Ayad Akhtar ‘02, who recently won the 2018 Kennedy Prize for Drama for his play Junk.
TheatreMania also featured Hammaad in an article titled 3 Bicultural Playwrights Ask: What Is the Process of Becoming American? where Hamaad shared how his heritage and experience inspired the text. "An Ordinary Muslim is set in London, and it's about British Pakistani Muslims, which is my background as well. It looks at the dynamics of an individual dealing with his family and his community and wider dominant culture. I think I'm trying to reconcile emotions about where we come from, where we are, and how that tension determines where we go next"
An Ordinary Muslim will run until March 25th. Get your tickets here.