Fresh off a Pulitzer for Disgraced, Akhtar returns with a mordant play that explores similarities between free-market and Islamic fundamentalism: Amitav Kumar in The Guardian

The Invisible Hand
 Brutal charm: Usman Ally and Justin Kirk in The Invisible Hand. Photograph: Supplied

Ayad Akhtar’s new play The Invisible Hand opened this week at the New York Theatre Workshop. When the lights come on, you see a man sitting in a chair while close to him stands a bearded guard with a Kalashnikov strapped to his back. The seated man is an American banker being held by jihadists somewhere near Karachi. In the opening scene, the prisoner is holding out his hands for the other man to clip his nails, which the latter accomplishes not without some tenderness.

GitanjaliBeing one of Singapore’s most prominent authors, The Necessary Stage’s (TNS) resident playwright Haresh Sharma is no stranger to breaking new ground and creating works which question the notion of an ideal Singaporean. In plays such as Off Centre and Good People, his protagonists were mental patients and drug addicts. In the recently staged Poor Thing, he featured the immensely ugly side of Singaporeans.

Although Sharma’s latest work-Gitanjali [I feel the earth move]-deviates in that the focal point shifts from Singaporean to more universal themes, the play still represents a pushing of boundaries. As an interdisplinary and intercultural production, the challenge is to merge different artistic forms such as classical Indian dance, drama and music.