Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is presenting the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize® finalist Rajiv Joseph’s play Guards at the Taj, starring Tony Award® nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed, and directed by Tony Award® nominated actor and director Amy Morton. Guards at the Taj will begin previews Wednesday, May 20, officially open Thursday, June 11 and play a limited engagement through Sunday, June 28 Off Broadway atAtlantic Theater Company at The Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street).
In 1648 India, two Imperial Guards watch from their post as the sun rises for the first time on the newly-completed Taj Mahal – an event that shakes their respective worlds. When they are ordered to perform an unthinkable task, the aftermath forces them to question the concept of friendship, beauty and duty, and changes them forever.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company member Amy Morton’s directing credits include The Way West, Penelope, Clybourne Park, American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Pillowman, Dublin Carol and Topdog/Underdog for the company. She received Tony® and Drama Desk award nominations for both her acclaimed performances in the most recent revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and August: Osage County on Broadway in addition to appearing in over thirty Steppenwolf Theatre Company productions.
Rajiv Joseph’s play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize® and received a Drama Desk award nomination for Outstanding Play. His other plays include 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.
Omar Metwally received a Tony Award® nomination for his performance in Sixteen Wounded on Broadway and appeared in As You Like It at The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. He was featured in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, Gavin Hood’s Rendition and Julian Schnabel’s Miral and will be seen this spring in Gideon Raff’s new television series “Dig.”
Arian Moayed was honored with a Theater World Award and Tony® and Drama League nominations for his breakthrough performance in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Broadway. Off-Broadway he received a Drama Desk nomination for Masked and has appeared in King Lear, Food & Fadwa and American Pilot. He is currently developing the pilot for the thriller mini -series “The Accidental Wolf” starring Kelli O’Hara.
Guards at the Taj will feature scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Bobby Frederick Tilley II, lighting design by David Weiner, original music and sound design by Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen, special effects design by Jeremy Chernick and fight direction by J. David Brimmer. Guards at the Taj was awarded the 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, given annually for an unproduced, full-length play of social relevance by an emerging American playwright.
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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