Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

American Theatre: Rajiv Joseph Didn’t Just Write ‘Guards at the Taj’—He Took Them There

Arian Moayed, Rajiv Joseph and Omar Metwally at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India earlier this year.

Arian Moayed, Rajiv Joseph and Omar Metwally at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India earlier this year.

American Theatre writer Linda Buchwald reports in the May/June 2015 edition: The writer of ‘Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo’ took actors Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally on a pilgrimage to the site of his newest play.

When New York City’s Atlantic Theater Company gave Rajiv Joseph a slot for his new play Guards at the Taj, he told them he already had the actors who should be cast in the production. Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally had been developing the play with Joseph for years, and he only wanted to do it with them. So there were no auditions, and the show’s director, Amy Morton, had no say in casting, which is very unusual. But it seems to have worked out: Previews for the play’s world premiere at the Atlantic start May 20, and play will also have productions at La Jolla PlayhouseWoolly Mammoth in D.C. and the Geffen in Los Angeles. “Everyone knows who these two guys are, and everyone wants to have them in their plays anyway,” Joseph offers by way of explanation.” Click here to read the full article. Guards at the Taj is currently in rehearsals and will begin previews Wednesday, May 20.  Guards at the Taj will open on Thursday, June 11 and play a limited engagement through Sunday, June 28 Off Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company at The Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street). Click here to purchase tickets.

Related Articles Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed to star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ, directed by Amy Morton, at Atlantic Theater Company, May 20-June 28 Production Photos: Jon Tenney, Emily Ruth James, Tessa Auberjonois, John de Lancie, and Kwana Martinez in World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory through May 3  Jon Tenney, Tessa Auberjonois, John de Lancie, Emily Ruth James and Kwana Martinez in World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory through May 3; SCR Podcast features the playwright’s inspiration Jon Tenney, Tessa Auberjonois, John de Lancie, Emily Ruth James and Kwana Martinez Set for World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory, April 12-May 3 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  TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents Rajiv Joseph’s THE LAKE EFFECT Starring Adam Poss, Nilanjana Bose, Jason Bowen through March 29 Jaime Castañeda to Helm Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ at La Jolla Playhouse, February 2-28, 2016 Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed to star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ, helmed by Amy Morton, at Atlantic Theater Company, May 20-June 28 Jaime Castañeda to Helm Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ at La Jolla Playhouse, February 2-28, 2016 The Old Globe Presents World Premiere of Christopher Gattelli Helmed IN YOUR ARMS Featuring Vignettes written by David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, and Alfred Uhry, September 16 – October 25 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 cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia 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. Other Articles by Lia Chang: THE KING AND I Broadway Revival Cast Recording Starring Tony Award nominees Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles- now available for pre-order, release date on June 2 AN AMERICAN IN PARIS AND FUN HOME Lead 2015 Tony Award Nominations with 12 each; Ken Watanabe, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kelli O’Hara, Chita Rivera, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Nighy, Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan, Ruth Wilson, K. Todd Freeman, Patricia Clarkson Among the Nominees Hamilton leads 2015 Drama Desk Awards Nominations with 13, along with An American in Paris, Something Rotten!, The Visit, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 81st Annual Drama League Awards Nominations Hamilton tops Lucille Lortel Award Nominations along with Into the Woods, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Invisible Hand, The Nether and The Fortress of Solitude Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama  2014-15 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations; Something Rotten!, On the Twentieth Century, An American in Paris garner most nods Production Photos: Tony Award Winners Chita Rivera and Roger Rees star in Terrence McNally’s THE VISIT Photos: Garth Kravits, Laura Benanti, Brian Nash, Lena Hall, Erin Davie and More in “Broadway Sings Tori” Benefit Concert for RAINN Photos: David Byrne, Alex Timbers, Jaygee Macapugay, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Guettel, Sarah Saltzberg and More Celebrate Jose Llana’s Lincoln Center American Songbook Debut Jerome Preston Bates, Michael Chenevert, Stephanie Berry, Terria Joseph, Kim Weston Moran, Tony Sallemi and Count Stovall set for World Premiere of Richard Wesley’s AUTUMN at Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, April 23 through May 3 Jose Llana, Jill Paice,Telly Leung and more featured on TOKIO CONFIDENTIAL Recording; Set for Release May 12 An Intimate Evening with Author Amy Tan at the New-York Historical Society  Video: The cast of HAMILTON at The Public Theater pays tribute to A Chorus Line on the 40th anniversary of its first performance in the Newman Theater at The Public World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13 Photos: Inside THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE CD Release Concert with André De Shields, Kevin Mambo, Adam Chanler-Berat, Michael Friedman and More David Henry Hwang, Laura Poitras, Amitav Ghosh, Deeyah Khan, Bill Rauch, Robert Battle, Carrie Mae Weems named among 13 Ford Foundation “Art of Change” Fellows Thom Sesma, Emily Padgett, J. Elaine Marcos and Thai Superstar Bie Sukrit lead the cast of the world premiere of WATERFALL at The Pasadena Playhouse, May 29 – June 28 and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, October 1-25 Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of THE KING AND I starring Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora and Ashley Park opens to raves Joe Mantegna receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Film and Television from The Riverside International Film Festival The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call Sinatra: An American Icon Exhibit on View through September 4 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts “Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men” on view at Museum of the Moving Image through June 14; Required Viewing: Mad Men’s Movie Influences Film Series Screenings through April 26 Disney Developing Live-Action ‘Mulan’ “Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong,” – Retrospective of Disney Legend at MOCA through September 13 Dining out at élan with Artist Arlan Huang; New Paintings on view at Trestle GalleryAward Winning Actor Raul Aranas Talks THE BLACKLIST, NAAP’S OLIVER!, Songwriting and the Zen of Cycling Signature Theatre Company’s Founding Artistic Director James Houghton To Step Down After 2015-16 25th Anniversary Season May 1: A/P/A Institute at NYU presents Remembering SlutForArt: Tseng Kwong Chi with Muna Tseng, Ping Chong, and Bill T. Jones Photos: Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Spring Exhibition, CHINA: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, May 7–August 16 Photos: National Black Theatre Festival 2013; NBTF runs August 3-8, 2015 and will include Act III – A Celebration of Life Reception saluting the late theatre icon Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. Star Trek’s George Takei & Broadway Bound ALLEGIANCE Create Indiegogo Campaign as Endowment for the Japanese American National Museum  Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and Telly Leung Set to Co-star with George Takei in ALLEGIANCE; Previews Begin at the Longacre Theatre on October 6 Photos: John W. Kuo, Jessica Hagedorn, and Neal Katyal Receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards Crafting a Career 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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