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Jaime Castañeda to Helm Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ at La Jolla Playhouse, February 2-28, 2016

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

La Jolla Playhouse announces its final subscription show for the 2015/2016 season: Guards at the Taj, by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), marking newly-appointed Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Jaime Castañeda’s directorial debut at the Playhouse.

Joseph’s Guards at the Taj, a recent recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, is set for it’s world premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company in May; and will run February 2 – 28, 2016 in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, located on the UCSD Campus via the Revelle Entrance, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037.

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.

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 

“Jaime Castañeda’s first production at La Jolla Playhouse is the perfect cap to a 2015/2016 season of new works that depict defining moments across a variety of cultures and communities– from thousands of international passengers descending on a small Canadian town in Come From Away, to a glimpse into the mind of 1963 March on Washington architect Bayard Rustin in Blueprints to Freedom, to the journey of a seminal Yiddish play to Broadway in the early 20th century in Indecent,” said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. “Now we add to the mix Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj, which tackles complex questions of identity and history with a wicked sense of humor and a keen theatrical eye.”

Rajiv Joseph’s (Playwright) plays include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The North Pool, The Lake Effect and Mr. Wolf. He is the librettist and co-lyricist for the musical, Fly. Joseph also wrote for the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie” for its third and fourth seasons and was the co- screenwriter of the film Draft Day, which was released last year, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Joseph received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. 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.

Jaime Castañeda joined the Playhouse last December as Associate Artistic Director. He previously served for five years as Artistic Associate at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theatre Company. Prior to that, he was the founding Artistic Director of FireStarter Productions in Texas, as well as an ensemble member with American Theater Company in Chicago since 2009. His directing credits include The Royal Society of Antarctica at Portland Center Stage/JAW, Tiger Style! at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Dallas Theater Center, Chimichangas and Zoloft at Atlantic Theater Company, How We Got On at Cleveland Playhouse, Welcome to Arroyo’s at The Old Globe and American Theater Company, Red Light Winter at Perseverance Theatre, The Motherf**ker with the Hat at Kitchen Dog Theater, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant at Circle Theatre and Blue/Orange and Sonnets for an Old Century at FireStarter Productions. A Drama League fellow and recipient of the Princess Grace Award and the TCG New Generations Grant, Castañeda holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tickets to the 2015/2016 season are currently available only through a subscription purchase. Subscription packages start at $180. Please visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org or call Playhouse Patron Services Department at (858) 550-1010 for more information.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions, including BD Wong, Daniel Beatty and Kirsten Greenidge. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who’s Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page To Stage Program.

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

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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