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Playwright Rajiv Joseph wins Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for New Play GUARDS AT THE TAJ; Set for World Premiere at Atlantic Theater Company in May

Omar Metwally, Rajiv Joseph and Arian Moayed in the Vivian Beaumont Theater Lobby for the 2013 Steinberg Playwright Award Reception on November 18, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Omar Metwally, Rajiv Joseph and Arian Moayed in the Vivian Beaumont Theater Lobby for the 2013 Steinberg Playwright Award Reception on November 18, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo playwright Rajiv Joseph, currently on a research trip for his new play, Guards at the Taj with cast members Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally in India, woke up to the news that Guards at the Taj had been awarded the 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, which provides $50,000 to the winning playwright and an additional $100,000 to the Atlantic Theater Company, to defray production costs for the play’s premiere, as reported by Patrick Healy in The New York Times.

The Laurents/Hatcher award, given annually for an unproduced, full-length play of social relevance by an emerging American playwright, was first presented in 2011 and was last given to Daniel Pearle for “A Kid Like Jake” two years ago.
Click below to read more about the Laurents/Hatcher Award.
nytimes.com: Rajiv Joseph Wins $150,000 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award

Guards at the Taj will have its world premiere at Atlantic Theater Company, directed by Amy Morton, from May 20, 2015 to June 28, 2015. Set in 1648 at the completion of the Taj Mahal, two Imperial Guards watch from their post and are forced to question the concept of friendship, beauty and duty that changes them forever.

At morning’s first light, a new edifice representing the soaring power of the empire will be unveiled, the glorious Taj Mahal. But for the two hapless guards assigned to protect the palace, morning will set the wheels in motion for a ghoulishly funny existential crisis that will shake their faith in God, the empire and each other. Guards at the Taj is a black comedy about two average men swept up by the beauty, carnage and injustice surrounding of one of the most famous wonders of the world.

Joseph’s play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and he received the 2013 Steinberg Playwright Award from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust at The 2013 Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards, held in Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York on November 18, 2013. Moayed and Metwally presented a scene from Guards at The Taj during the awards ceremony.

Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally in a scene from Rajiv Joseph's Guards at The Taj at The 2013 Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards, held in Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York on November 18, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally in a scene from Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at The Taj at The 2013 Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards, held in Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York on November 18, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Rajiv Joseph on the set of his new play, "Describe the Night" at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Rajiv Joseph on the set of his new play, “Describe the Night” at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

In addition to the world premiere of Guards at The Taj and South Coast Repertory’s world premiere of Mr. Wolf, directed by David Emmes as part of the 18th Annual Pacific Playwrights Festival in April, The Hollywood Reporter announced Nicolas Cage will star in Army of One, an Osama Bin Laden satire from ‘Borat’ director, with a script written by Joseph and his Draft Day co-writer Scott Rothman.

Rajiv Joseph’s plays include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Gruesome Playground Injuries (2009); Animals Out of Paper (2008); The North Pool (2011); The Monster at the Door (2011); Huck and Holden (2005); and The Lake Effect (2013). He is the book writer and co-lyricist for the new Peter Pan musical, Fly, and the co-screenwriter of the Lionsgate release Draft Day, a 2014 feature dramedy about pro football, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. He also wrote during the third and fourth seasons of the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie.” Joseph earned his BA in creative writing from Miami University and his MFA in playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. Joseph was named a 2010 Rockefeller Fellow by United States Artists. He is the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award, the Whiting Award, the Glickman Award, the 2013 Equity Jeff Award for The Lake Effect, produced by Silk Road Rising in Chicago, and the prestigious 2013 Steinberg Playwright Award from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Upcoming projects:
South Coast Repertory is presenting the world premiere of Mr. Wolf, directed by David Emmes as part of the 18th Annual Pacific Playwrights Festival, on the Julianne Argyros Stage, from April 12, 2015 – May 3, 2015. In Mr. Wolf, Theresa is 17 years old, and she can map out the solar system. She understands the universe—how and why it came to be. She has a man named Mr. Wolf to thank for that. Now the only life she has ever known is coming to an end. She’s being taken away—turned over to people who are strangers to her. They can’t possibly understand her needs, when they seem to be lost, too. And they’re all asking the same questions: What is home? Where do I belong?

Related Articles
NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts through November 24
Nov. 19-24: NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts
East West Players’ Los Angeles Premiere of “Animals Out of Paper” by Rajiv Joseph, Featuring C.S. Lee and Tess Lina, Opens Sept. 10, 2014
Dec. 16: Award Winning Playwrights Rajiv Joseph and Tarell Alvin McCraney, the focus of PBS Film, Playwright: From Page to Stage
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Nov. 18: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph to be honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
2015 Sundance Film Festival Lineup
Jan. 25: 11th Annual Asian American Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City at Club 301 – The Funn Networks Space
Asian American Film Lab Receives Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Community Benefit Grant
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Extends through March 22
Vineyard Theatre Presents World Premiere of Michael Mayer Helmed BROOKLYNITE Featuring Ann Harada, Nick Choksi, Matt Doyle, Nicolette Robinson, Andrew Call and More, January 30 – March 22
Tony Award-Winner Lillias White Stars with Scott Wakefield in The York Theatre Company’s World Premiere of TEXAS IN PARIS, January 27 – March 1
Star Trek’s George Takei to Headline 5th Annual Korematsu Day at City Arts and Lectures-Nourse Theatre in San Francisco on Jan. 30
Feb. 3: BD Wong and Russell Wong Guest Star on ‘NCIS: NEW ORLEANS’, Episode 1.13 – The Walking Dead
FEB. 4: “Fresh Off the Boat” Live Community Viewing Party at THE CIRCLE NYC with Hudson Yang
2015 Sundance Film Festival Lineup
Two-Time Tony Award Nominee André De Shields, Bowman Wright, E. Faye Butler, KenYatta Rogers, Jessica Frances Dukes and Michael Anthony Williams Set for Arena Stage’s King Hedley II, February 6- March 8, 2015
Remembering Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. (1938-2014); Memorial Set for February 14, 2015
Duwende Performs at Rockwood Music Hall on February 16; Photos of Concert with m-pact at The Bitter End
“Swimming Awkward Moment,” works by Arlan Huang on view at Trestle Gallery, February 20 – March 27
Novelist Jessica Hagedorn, Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells, and John W. Kuo of Varian Medical Systems, to receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards on February 23
Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents New York Premiere of Carmen De Lavallade’s Solo Show AS I REMEMBER IT in February 2015
Photos: Joe Mantegna and Danny Ramm Talk about ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode Honoring Veterans and the late Meshach Taylor
Photos: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, NEFA, Graham Sheffield CBE and Susan Stockton Receive 2015 ISPA Awards
Duwende Performs at Rockwood Music Hall on February 16; Photos of Concert with m-pact at The Bitter End
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
Photos: Andrew Rannells and Zuzanna Szadkowski Visit Richard Thomas, Anna Chlumsky, Julie Halston and Annaleigh Ashford at YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
Lia Chang Picks: Arthur Dong’s Forbidden City: Chinese-American Nightclubs, 1930-1970
THE WIZ Turns 40- Photos from Original Broadway Production and BC/EFA Gypsy of The Year Celebration Featuring André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White and More
Unsuk Chin’s Opera Alice in Wonderland, Featuring Libretto Co-Written with David Henry Hwang, Set for UK Premiere at the Barbican Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Novels on March 8, 2015
Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I, Starring Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Kick off Rehearsals; Previews Begin March 12
Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan, Lora Lee Gayer, Melody Butiu, Julian Cihi and More Set for Broadway Bound Dr. Zhivago
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee Crafting a Career

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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