Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Video: ATC Uncovered: Guards of the Stage — A Playwright’s Talk with Stephen Adly Guirgis and Rajiv Joseph

Playwrights Stephen Adly Guirgis and Rajiv Joseph.

Playwrights Stephen Adly Guirgis and Rajiv Joseph.

Atlantic Theater Company presents a conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis (Between Riverside and Crazy) & Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph (Guards at the Taj). These two prolific creators of theater share the process of writing their stories and bringing them to the stage. https://youtu.be/Qund1TUXxQI Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama  THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016 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 began previews on May 20th and will play a limited engagement through Sunday, June 28 Off Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company at The Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street). Opening night is Thursday, June 11. Click here to purchase tickets.

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

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.

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

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.

Omar Metwally, director Amy Morton, playwright Rajiv Joseph and Arian Moayed in rehearsal for Atlantic Theatre Company's production of GUARDS AT THE TAJ. Photo courtesy of Rajiv Joseph

Omar Metwally, director Amy Morton, playwright Rajiv Joseph and Arian Moayed in rehearsal for Atlantic Theatre Company’s production of GUARDS AT THE TAJ. Photo courtesy of Rajiv Joseph

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.

Playwright Rajiv Joseph. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Rajiv Joseph. Photo by Lia Chang

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. Joseph just returned from Morocco and the set of Army of One, a new film he co-wrote with Scott Rothman, loosely based on a GQ article by Chris Heath about Gary Faulkner, an ex-con who made 11 attempts to travel to the most volatile region of Pakistan to capture Osama bin Laden, armed with only a sword. Directed by Larry Charles (“Borat”), Army of One stars Nicholas Cage, Russell Brand, Denis O’Hare, Ken Marino, Paul Scheer, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Rainn Wilson. Click here to read the full article. In 2016, Opera Theatre of St. Louis will present the world premiere of composer Jack Perla and Joseph’s Shalimar the Clown, adapted from the novel by Salman Rushdie.

Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Guards at the Taj features 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.

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Arian Moayed in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj. Photo by Doug Hamilton

Related Articles Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama  Production Photos: Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed in World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ at Atlantic Theater Company; Opens June 11  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  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 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 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 Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards 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.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine. Other articles by Lia Chang Photos: The 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Launch Party at The Korea Society; TWO FACES is this year’s theme  The King and I wins 4 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, Kelli O’Hara (Best Leading Actress in a Musical), Ruthie Ann Miles (Best Featured Actress in a Musical) and Catherine Zuber (Best Costume Design) The King and I’s Ruthie Ann Miles Wins #TonyAwards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical Photos: 2015 Tony Award Winners and Performances Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang’s Commencement Speech at SUNY Purchase HAMILTON AND CURIOUS INCIDENT take top honors at 2015 Drama Desk Awards AAFLTV “Focus on the Philippines” Monday nights in June, hosted by Jennifer Betit Yen, Erin Quill and Lia Chang Photos: Anna May Wong as Fashion Muse in “China: Through the Looking Glass” at The Met Dr. Leroy Chiao honored with 2015 Blue Cloud Award at China Institute’s Blue Cloud Gala Photos: Dr. Leroy Chiao, The Hon. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Shirley and Walter Wang Honored at China Institute’s Blue Cloud Gala  Photos: Inside “China: Through the Looking Glass” at The Met with Wong Kar-Wai, Vivienne Tam, Wendi Murdoch, Anna Wintour and More Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station Photos: Garth Kravits as a Statue of Liberty Street Performer on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura, Greg Watanabe and More Join George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung in Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE; Full Cast Announced Photos: Edie Falco, Bryce Pinkham, Stephanie McKay, Lena Hall, Nick Blaemire, Jacob Ming-Trent, Matthew Saldívar at The 52nd Street Project’s Gala FANCY THAT Original Cast of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE including Jose Llana, Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jay Reiss, and Sarah Saltzberg, to Reunite for 10th Anniversary Benefit Concert on July 6 BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY, HAMILTON, Austin Pendleton & More Win Off Broadway Alliance Awards HAMILTON, James Houghton, Usman Ally, Ayad Akhtar, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Douglas Thompson and Suzan-Lori Parks among 2015 Obie Award Winners Ruthie Ann Miles, Helen Mirren, Kristin Chenoweth, Alex Sharp, Andy Karl, Annaleigh Ashford, Richard McCabe, Robert Fairchild Among 2015 Outer Critics Circle Winners; Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Leads with 5; An American in Paris wins 4, The King and I and Hamilton Each Receive 3 Hamilton Sweeps 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards with 10 Wins; Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 3 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 ABC Renews “Fresh Off the Boat” and Picks up Ken Jeong’s “Dr. Ken” An Intimate Evening with Author Amy Tan at the New-York Historical Society  World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13 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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