Guards at the Taj

by Rajiv Joseph
2015 Obie Award Winner - Best New American Play | 2016 Lucille Lortel Award Winner - Best Play
Regional Premiere
Oct 20, 2022 to Nov 20, 2022

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India, 1648. Two hapless and lowly Imperial Guards watch from their posts as the sun rises for the first time over the newly-completed Taj Mahal. But the morning light brings with it an unthinkable task that will shake the foundations of everything they know to be true. In this deeply moving story, two friends behold the most sublime of wonders and discover the perils of bearing witness to perfection.

“A piercing examination of the nature of beauty, its relationship to power, and its unspeakable costs” - Chicago Reader

Performance Schedule: 

Guards at the Taj runs
Oct 20 through Nov 20 in the Jerry Russell Theatre
Thursdays 7:30
Fridays & Saturdays 8:00
Sundays 3:00
The play runs a little under 90 minutes, plus one intermission.
ASL Interpretation: Thursday, Nov 10
Post Show Conversations with the director: Sun, Nov 6 & Fri, Nov 11
Study Guide
Rated PG-13: Synopsis | Language | Warning: graphic violence
Access the digital program here.


Humayun – Rahul Joshi
Babur – Dhruv Ravi*

 *Member, Actors' Equity Association

Production Staff: 

Director - Shyama Nithiananda
Production Stage Manager – Tiffany Cromwell*
Set Design – Brian Clinnin
Lighting Design – Bryan Stevenson
Costume Design – Amy Poe
Sound Design – Ryan Simón
Props/Set Décor – Lynn Lovett
Assistant Director - Evan Michael Woods
Assistant Costume Designer - April Haun
Technical Director – Bryan Stevenson
Associate Technical Director – Conor Clark
Master Carpenter/Scenic Artist – Allen Dean
Running Crew - Katie Cooley, Allen Dean

About the Author: 

Rajiv Joseph’s play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. Rajiv’s New York productions include Animals Out of Paper (Second Stage Theatre, summer 2008), The Leopard and the Fox (Alter Ego, fall 2007), Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane Theatre, 2006), and All This Intimacy (Second Stage Theatre, 2006). In Los Angeles Huck & Holden was produced by The Black Dahlia Theatre in 2006. Through the Lark Play Development Center, Rajiv has traveled to Mexico and Romania, where Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was translated into Spanish and Romanian, respectively, and performed in staged readings. Rajiv has been awarded the Paula Vogel Award by the Vineyard Theatre and the 2009 Kesselring Fellowship. Rajiv is a Founding Member of the new New York based theatre company The Fire Department and was a contributing writer on their first two theatrical events, Speakeasy and At War: American Playwrights Respond To The War In Iraq. He is a former Lark Playwriting Fellow and Dramatists Guild Fellow. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service, and Smith & Kraus. He 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, and he is currently a Language Lecturer at NYU with the School of Art and Public Policy and the Expository Writing Program. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa.