The fifth time turned out to be the charm for Nafeesa Monroe when she learned she had been chosen for the role of opinionated mergers and acquisitions lawyer, Jory, in the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s rendition of Nayad Akhtari’s socially-conscious play, “Disgraced.”
“I auditioned for this role five times and this is my first time playing the part and my first time performing in Pittsburgh. Jory is a Black woman who pulled herself out of the ghetto to become a lawyer in New York,” Monroe said. “She’s all about the money and the business and making a good life for herself. It’s clear in the story that she’s been on the bad side of experience but she’s made it up in her mind that she is going to make a good life for herself.
“In the story she goes in and out of her sister girl side and her lawyer side and being of mixed dissent (my mother is Caucasian and my father is African-American) and Jory is very often cast as one hundred percent African-American but having this Jory cast as someone of mixed dissent I’ve done that a lot in my life really battling how people perceive me verses how I perceive myself verses how I want to be perceived so I think Jory has all of those in her and that’s one of the reasons I was fascinated and excited to play this role and this character,” continued Monroe who is a graduate of The Meisner School of Acting and holds a BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and an MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.