★★★★ Critics’ Pick, Time Out New York
“FRISKY, FUNNY DIALOGUE!
Directed by Amy Morton with a RICH SENSE OF ATMOSPHERE that raises potent questions about the human price paid throughout history for the caprices of the mighty!” – The New York Times
“RIVETING! The most astounding brutal tableau you’ll ever see on stage!
Beautifully illustrated by Metwally and Moayed who bring
QUIET INTENSITY, FEROCITY, and UNBRIDLED EMOTION!
YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO LOOK AWAY FROM THESE TWO ACTORS!”
– Entertainment Weekly
“An ENVELOPE-PUSHING PLAYWRIGHT and TWO STUNNING ACTORS
under the MUSCULAR DIRECTION of Amy Morton!
It’s DEEPLY MOVING, LOVINGLY ACTED, and PACKED WITH IDEAS with
EXISTENTIAL ANGST, SILLINESS, HORROR and PITCH-BLACK HUMOR!”
– Associated Press
“STRIKING ORIGINAL DRAMA!
Director Amy Morton has done a SUPERB JOB!
Two EXCELLENT PERFORMANCES KEEP US ENTERTAINED!”
“HIGHLY CAPTIVATING. Joseph writes SLY, FUNNY DIALOGUE
laced with JOLTS OF LYRICISM. Directed with SUPPLE MODULATION…
Morton has coaxed LAYERED PERFORMANCES from
EXEMPLARY ACTORS at the top of their game…
AN EXQUISITE PIECE OF WRITING with SPIKY CHARACTER
INTERPLAY and WICKED HUMOR.
AN UNEXPECTEDLY MOVING EXPERIENCE.”
– The Hollywood Reporter
“NAIL-BITING AND URGENT ENTERTAINMENT!”
– NBC New York
GUARDS AT THE TAJ
a new play by RAJIV JOSEPH
directed by AMY MORTON
Linda Gross Theater, 336 W 20th St.
Running Time: 1 hour 25 minutes, no intermission
Atlantic welcomes celebrated playwright Rajiv Joseph (Broadway’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) with the world premiere of Guards at the Taj, a bold and surprising new play directed by Tony nominee Amy Morton. The play recently won the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award and stars Tony-nominated actors Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed.
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 concepts of friendship, beauty, and duty, and changes them forever.
*Please be advised that this play contains disturbing content that might not be suitable for all audiences.
OMAR METWALLY (Humayun) is an actor and director who works on film, stage and television. He appeared on Broadway in Sixteen Wounded, receiving a Tony Award® nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. Off-Broadway and regional credits include American Hero (Williamstown Theater Festival), As You Like It (Delacorte Theater/The Public), The Fever Chart (Public Theater), Beast on the Moon (Century Center for the Performing Arts), Homebody/Kabul (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Creditors (La Jolla Playhouse), Sixteen Wounded (Long Wharf Theater), as well as work with the American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Trinity Rep, The Magic Theater, Campo Santo, The Rude Mechanicals and others. Omar’s film work includes Steven Spielberg’s Munich, Gavin Hood’s Rendition, Non-Stop, Julian Schnabel’s Miral, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II and Amsterdam, among others. He was awarded the Chopard Trophy at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Rendition. Omar will be seen this spring in the new television series “Dig,” created by Gideon Raff. Other television credits include “The Slap,” “Virtuality,” “The Good Wife,” “Harry’s Law,” “Fringe,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Unit” and others. He directed the world premiere of Sharif Abu Hamdeh’s play Habibi at Campo Santo, as well as work for the NY Arab American Comedy Festival. Omar is a graduate of UC Berkeley and received his MFA in acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
ARIAN MOAYED (Babur). Broadway: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Tony® and Drama League nomination, Theater World Award). Notable Off-Broadway: Masked (Drama Desk nomination), King Lear (Public), Food & Fadwa (NYTW), Queens Boulevard (Signature), Homebody/Kabul (BAM, Steppenwolf), American Pilot (MTC). Notable Film/Television: Rock the Kasbah (Barry Levinson, dir., upcoming), Rosewater, Appropriate Behavior, “Believe” (Alfonso Cuaran, dir., Series Regular), “Blacklist,” “The Following.” Waterwell: Devised over 13 original productions (upcoming A-Jax, Hamlet & Turning Texas Blue), administers the Waterwell Drama Program with Professional Performing Arts School, offering 6-12th graders theater training absolutely free of charge and with Waterwell Films, written/directed three short films including Day Ten (starring Omar Metwally, Tribeca Film Festival 2014), currently in post-production for his pilot, “The Accidental Wolf,” a thriller mini-series, starring Kelli O’Hara. www.waterwell.org.
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 book-writer and co-lyricist for the musical, Fly. Rajiv also wrote for the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie” for seasons 3 and 4. Additionally, Rajiv was the co-screenwriter of the film Draft Day, which was released earlier this year, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Rajiv 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.
AMY MORTON (Director) is an actor, director and ensemble member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Directing credits at Steppenwolf include The Way West, Penelope, Clybourne Park, American Buffalo (also McCarter Theatre), Glengarry Glen Ross (also Dublin and Toronto), The Pillowman, Dublin Carol (also Trinity Rep Theatre), Topdog/Underdog (also Alley Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Hartford Stage) and many others. Other directing credits Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Alliance Theatre and Awake and Sing! at Northlight Theatre. Prior to joining Steppenwolf, Amy was a member of the Remains Theatre for 15 years. As an actor, she has appeared in more than 30 productions at Steppenwolf and has appeared on Broadway in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), August: Osage County (Tony, Drama Desk nominations) as well as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Film credits include Up in the Air, The Dilemma, Rookie of the Year, 8MM, Falling Down and the independent feature film Bluebird for Killer Films. Television: “Boss”, “Chicago Fire”, “Blue Bloods,” “Girls” and “Homeland”. She is a regular on “Chicago PD”.
Timothy R. Mackabee (Scenic Designer) Atlantic: Our New Girl. Broadway: The Elephant Man (starring Bradley Cooper), Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth (dir. Spike Lee). West End: The Elephant Man. Off-Broadway: Heathers The Musical, Luce (Lincoln Center Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Public Theater), Exile (Cherry Lane Theatre), Mel & El: Show & Tell (Ars Nova), Trout Stanley (Culture Project), Gorilla Man (P.S. 122). Regional: Center Stage Baltimore, Cleveland Play House, Portland Center Stage, Dallas Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Theater Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Studio Theatre, Virginia Stage, Paper Mill Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Arden Theatre Company, Theatre J, The Muny, Ford’s Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO. Opera: Paul’s Case, Tosca. Dance: Doug Varone & Dancers, Cedar Lake Dance. Film/TV: “Gotham,” “Smash,” “The Today Show,” “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” (HBO), “Margot at the Wedding.” Upcoming: The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater Co., dir. Hal Prince), Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (Manhattan Theatre Club). Education: North Carolina School of the Arts, Yale School of Drama. timothymackabeedesign.com
Bobby Frederick Tilley II (Costume Designer) Bobby Frederick Tilley‘s costume designs for theater include: World Premiere of Be More Chill (forthcoming, Two Rivers); The Power of Duff (Geffen Playhouse); The Taming Of The Shrew (Virginia Stage Company); World Premiere of Open House (Signature Theatre); The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, The Pinter Plays: The Collection and A Kind Of Alaska, World Premiere of Annie Baker’s Body Awareness, and Birth and After Birth (Atlantic Theatre Company); The Power Of Duff, Captors, Sons Of The Prophet, and Circle Mirror Transformation (The Huntington Theatre Company); Chapter Two (Bucks County Playhouse); The Power Of Duff (NYS&F); Sons Of The Prophet (Roundabout); World Premiere of All New People (Second Stage); Proof (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); Thinner Than Water (LAByrinth Theater Company); World Premiere of Annie Baker’s The Aliens (Rattlestick); The Aliens (Company One, Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design) Body Awareness (Speakeasy Stage Company); Lizzie Borden (The Living Theater, Drama Desk Nomination); Top Girls (Act 1, MTC/Biltmore); Mel and El: Show & Tell (Ars Nova);. His costume designs for film include Hello, I Must Be Going; The Green; Four Lane Highway; Little Kings; and Rubou
David Weiner (Lighting Designer) Atlantic: Dying For It, Through A Glass Darkly (Lortel Award), Offices, Celebration / The Room, and Sea of Tranquility. Broadway: Romeo & Juliet, Dead Accounts, Grace, Godspell, The Normal Heart, Reasons To Be Pretty, Butley, Dinner At Eight (Lincoln Center Theater), Betrayal (The Roundabout Theatre Company), The Real Thing. Off Broadway: MCC, MTC, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, The Public, NY Theater Workshop, Theater for a New Audience, Vineyard, Atlantic. Regional: The Old Globe, Steppenwolf, Center Theatre Group, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, The Guthrie, LaJolla Playhouse, The Alley, McCarter, Huntington, ART, Kansas City Rep, Williamstown, Berkeley Rep. Awards: 2011 Drama Desk nomination (Small Fire), 2005 Lucille Lortel Award (Rodney’s Wife). www.DavidWeinerDesign.com
Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen (Original Music & Sound Designers) Broadway credits include music composition and sound for No Man’s Land & Waiting for Godot, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Miracle Worker, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Speed of Darkness; music for My Thing of Love; and sound for Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, This Is Our Youth, Of Mice and Men, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Superior Donuts, reasons to be pretty, A Year with Frog and Toad, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Hollywood Arms, King Hedley II, Buried Child, The Song of Jacob Zulu and The Grapes of Wrath. Off Broadway credits include music and sound for Sticks and Bones, Checkers, How I Learned to Drive, Inked Baby, After Ashley, Boy Gets Girl, Red, Space, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Marvin’s Room; sound for The Spoils, Brundibar, The Pain and the Itch and Jitney; and music direction and sound for Ruined. They have created music and sound at many of America’s resident theatres (often with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre), the Comedy Theatre in London’s West End, The Barbican Center, the National Theatre of Great Britain, the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv, the Subaru Acting Company in Japan and festivals in Toronto, Dublin, Galway, Perth and Sydney.
Jeremy Chernick (Special Effects Designer) creates Special Effects. He specializes in making it snow, rain, burn, bleed and explode for the entertainment industry. Recent theatre credits include (Broadway) Wolf Hall, Aladdin, You Can’t Take It With You, (Not -Broadway) Let the Right One In (St. Ann’s Warehouse) Tamburlaine (Theater for a New Audience) Punk Rock (MCC), Parsifal (Metropolitan Opera). His work has recently been featured on the NBC Production of “Peter Pan Live” and at the Museum of Art & Design NYC Makers exhibition 2014.
J. David Brimmer (Fight Director) Fight Master, SAFD. David has choreographed some stuff (Broadway: Grace; An Enemy of the People; Hands on a Hardbody; The Big Knife; Wit; Born Yesterday; A Life in the Theatre; Speed-the-Plow; Come Back, Little Sheba; Spring Awakening; The Lieutenant of Inishmore; NY premieres: An Octoroon; Punk Rock; Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play; Blasted; The Whipping Man; Bethany; We are Proud to Present; Harper Regan; Hit the Wall; Ages of the Moon; The American Pilot; Blackbird; Bug; Killer Joe; the Red Bull Theatre’s productions of The Revenger’s Tragedy and The Duchess of Malfi; the Druid Theatre’s production of The Cripple of Inishmaan; and Violence Consultant for the Donmar Warehouse’s productions of the all female Julius Caesar at St. Ann’s Warehouse and The Night Alive at the Atlantic Theatre), worked at some wonderful venues (NY Public Theater, Metropolitan Opera, MTC, Atlantic, LCT3, The Women’s Project, Soho Rep, MCC, Signature Theatre, TFANA, Roundabout, Dallas Theater Center, Hartford Stage, NSMT, A.R.T., Baltimore Centerstage, Yale Rep, The Guthrie), and with some great folks (David Mamet, Sam Shepard, Ethan Coen, Martin McDonagh, Tracy Letts, Kenneth Lonergan, Ken Russell, Franco Zeffirelli). “Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.” —G. Fox.