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Blood and Gifts tells the story of the secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s.

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Blood and Gifts

June 12 - July 8

By J.T. Rogers
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien

Blood and Gifts takes you inside the secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s.

Spanning a decade and playing out in Washington DC, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the play offers up a slice of historical fiction laced with dark humor, as it follows CIA operative Jim Warnock and his struggles to stop Soviet control of Afghanistan. The ground constantly shifts for Jim and his British, Russian and Pakistani counterparts as the political and personal alliances keep changing.

A thrilling, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse, Blood and Gifts depicts the unknown men who shaped one of the greatest historical events in recent history, the repercussions of which continue to shape our world.
Contains strong language and adult content.

Smart, involving 'Gifts'
> UT San Diego

'Blood and Gifts' a taut, entertaining political thriller
> North County Times

A study of American involvement in the Soviet-Afghan war, J.T. Rogers' 'Blood and Gifts' artfully lays out the shortsightedness of foreign players in a rocky region.
> LA Times

Brilliantly acted and beautifully staged, La Jolla Playhouse’s “Blood and Gifts” is an intelligent, fast-moving piece not to be missed”
> La Jolla Light

Named one of the Top 10 Plays of 2011 by The New York Times
> The New York Times’

Meet the Creative Team

J.T. Rogers is the author of The Overwhelming, which debuted at the National Theatre in London and had its American premier at the Roundabout Theater Company (top ten play of the year, Time Magazine). Blood and Gifts debuted at the National as well and had its American premiere last season at Lincoln Center Theater (top ten play of the year, The New York Times). His works have been staged throughout the United States and in Australia, Canada, Israel, and Germany. He is a member of New Dramatists and the Dramatist Guild and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Lucie Tiberghien’s credits include Barcelona by Bess Wohl (workshop at Ojai Playwriting Conference and upcoming production at Contemporary American Theater Festival), That Old Black Magic by Koffi Kwahule (workshop at the Lark and upcoming workshop at NYTW), Craig Wright’s The Pavilion (Drama Desk nomination for best play, Rattlestick Theater, CATF) and Blind (world premiere at Rattlestick), Augusta by Richard Dresser (world premiere, CATF) and others. She has worked as associate director at New City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Washington Opera, Le Theatre du Chatelet in Paris and the Milwaukee Opera.

Press and Reviews for Blood and Gifts

Smart, involving 'Gifts'
> UT San Diego

'Blood and Gifts' a taut, entertaining political thriller
> North County Times

A study of American involvement in the Soviet-Afghan war, J.T. Rogers' 'Blood and Gifts' artfully lays out the shortsightedness of foreign players in a rocky region.
> LA Times

Brilliantly acted and beautifully staged, La Jolla Playhouse’s “Blood and Gifts” is an intelligent, fast-moving piece not to be missed
> San Diego Reader

A great big drama with sweeping themes and contemporary relevance.
> La Jolla Light

Named one of the Top 10 Plays of 2011 by The New York Times
> New York Times

Blood and Gifts has been nominated 2012 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play
> Playbill.com

Playhouse to offer ‘Blood and Gifts’
> Read more from UT San Diego

Blood and Gifts Joins La Jolla Playhouse Lineup This Summer; Lucie Tiberghien Directs
> Read more from Playbill

Mandell Weiss Forum

The Mandell Weiss Forum is a 400-seat thrust stage theatre, with audience members surrounding the stage on three sides. It contains a rehearsal hall, two courtyards and an outdoor “lobby.” Built with sleek industrial materials and intersecting geometric shapes, it has a long free-standing entry wall with massive reflective smoky-glass panes that generate the illusion of being both within and outside of the partition.

> Learn more

Blood and Gifts Events

Foodie Friday

Friday, June 22 at 6:00 pm

We’re kicking off Blood and Gifts with pierogis, beer and some good old fashioned American BBQ. Buy a ticket to the performance on June 22 and join us at 6:00 pm for a complimentary microbrew tasting from Stone Brewing Company. Plus the Pierogi Truck and Chop Soo-ey will be there to serve up dinner before the show.

Insider Event

Saturday, June 30 at 1:00 pm prior to the 2:00 performance
Patio in front of JAI at La Jolla Playhouse

The Insider Event for Blood and Gifts will feature special guest Deb Hatch, La Jolla Playhouse Prop Shop Manager. She will share her experiences as a props artisan, with special focus on this production, providing insight on the creative process of designing and developing objects used on stage, which are often not quite what they appear to be.

Discover Sunday

Sunday, July 8 following the 2pm performance
Patio in front of JAI at La Jolla Playhouse

Moderated by KPBS Arts and Culture Reporter, Angela Carone, Discovery Sunday for Blood and Gifts will feature former Time Magazine bureau chief and war correspondent Tim McGirk, who will discuss his experience in Afghanistan.

Kelly AuCoin in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

Geoffrey Wade, Demosthenes Chrysan, Maurice Williams, Regan Linton and Ngozi Anyanwu in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

Demosthenes Chrysan in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

Kelly AuCoin (left) and Daniel Pearce in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

(L-R): Danvir Singh Grewall, Kelly AuCoin and Babak Tafti in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

Triney Sandoval (left) and Kelly AuCoin in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

(L-R) Kelly AuCoin and Demosthenes Chrysan in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

Kelly AuCoin (left) and Amir Arison in BLOOD AND GIFTS; photo by Craig Schwartz.

Director Lucie Tiberghien and playwright J.T. Rogers in rehearsal for Blood and Gifts; photo by Dana Holliday.