Patron Services: 858.550.1010

La Jolla Playhouse presents Guards at the Taj. By Rajiv Joseph, Directed by Jaime Castañeda

Know before you go emblem

New Dark Comedy

Guards at the Taj

February 2 – 28, 2016

By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Jaime Castañeda

LIFE IS A BLOODY CHORE

At morning’s first light, a new edifice representing the soaring power of the empire will be unveiled, the glorious Taj Mahal. But for the two hapless guards assigned to protect the palace, morning will set the wheels in motion for a ghoulishly funny existential crisis that will shake their faith in God, the empire and each other. Guards at the Taj is a black comedy about two average men swept up by the beauty, carnage and injustice surrounding one of the most famous wonders of the world.

Recipient of the 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Award



Content warning: blood, violence, adult language.

Patron Services will be happy to answer any questions you have at (858) 550-1010.



Production Sponsors

SCMV
Just Gypsy       Margret and Nevins McBride


Meet the Creative Team and Cast

Rajiv Joseph's 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 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 coscreenwriter of the film Draft Day, which was released earlier this 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.

Jaime Castañeda joined the Playhouse last December as Associate Artistic Director. He previously served for five years as Artistic Associate at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theatre Company. Prior to that, he was the founding Artistic Director of FireStarter Productions in Texas, as well as an ensemble member with American Theater Company in Chicago since 2009. His directing credits include The Royal Society of Antarctica at Portland Center Stage/JAW, Tiger Style! at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Dallas Theater Center, Chimichangas and Zoloft at Atlantic Theater Company, How We Got On at Cleveland Playhouse, Welcome to Arroyo’s at The Old Globe and American Theater Company, Red Light Winter at Perseverance Theatre, The Motherf**ker with the Hat at Kitchen Dog Theater, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant at Circle Theatre and Blue/Orange and Sonnets for an Old Century at FireStarter Productions. A Drama League fellow and recipient of the Princess Grace Award and the TCG New Generations Grant, Castañeda holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Manu Narayan played “Richard Roma” in La Jolla Playhouse’s recent production of Glengarry Glen Ross. He has starred on stage and screen, and his music can be heard on recordings as well as in concerts around the world. On Broadway, Manu received 2004 Drama League nomination for creating the role of Aakash in the original Broadway company of Bombay Dreams. Appearing in over 40 stage productions in New York City and around the country, he has played such leading roles as Shakespeare’s Romeo, Rostand’s Cyrano and Mamet’s Ricky Roma at La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego Critics’ Circle Award nomination), Baltimore Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and St. Louis Rep. In critically-acclaimed revivals, he appeared in McNally’s The Lisbon Traviata at The Kennedy Center, Bogosian’s subUrbia at Second Stage and Stoppard’s Indian Ink at The Wilma Theatre. On film, Manu co-starred in Mike Myers’ The Love Guru, Cinderella Story: 3, The Last Airbender and currently in 99 Homes, originally appearing at the 2014 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. He also starred in the Indian film Good Night | Good Morning. On television he has guest starred on Grey’s Anatomy, The Following, Deception, Unforgettable, Rubicon, Nurse Jackie, The Sopranos, Law & Order: SVU, Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle. He holds a dual degree in classical vocal and saxophone performance from Carnegie Mellon University, where he serves on the Board of Trustees.

Babak Tafti played “Saeed” in La Jolla Playhouse’s recent production of Blood and Gifts. His New York credits include: The Bachelors (Rattlestick); Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova); The North Pool (Vineyard Theatre) and The In-Between (Noor Theatre). Regional credits include Scorched at ACT; The North Pool and Much Ado About Nothing at Barrington Stage; O.P.C. at ART; and Arabian Nights and The Winter’s Tale at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival). His television appearances include: Blue Bloods, Nurse Jackie and Orange is the New Black. He received his M.F.A. at Yale School of Drama.




Design Credits for Guards at the Taj

Scenic Design Takeshi Kata
Costume Design Sue Makkoo
Lighting and Projection Design Thomas Ontiveros
Sound Design Cricket S. Myers

Reviews of Guards at the Taj

'Guards at the Taj' has elements of 'Godot' and gallows humor
» LA Times

Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

The Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre is the third and newest of La Jolla Playhouse's theatres, the 6,500-square-foot Potiker theatre is the centerpiece of the first permanent year-round home for the Playhouse — the $17 million Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center.

"A box within a box, within a box," the theatre is a glass-enclosed black cube that gives the Playhouse performance options; the seating and the stage can be placed wherever the director wishes, enhancing the performer-audience relationship. The performance area – complete with removable seats to allow for as few as two audience members and as many as 450 – has a mostly-removable performance floor with trap doors that lead down to a labyrinth of facilities and backstage areas for casts and crews, including a sound and recording studio which allows live music to be channeled into the theatre. Above the audience's heads sits a wire tension grid; there is also a balcony along the theatre's outer wall for extra seating or performance space.

The Potiker Theatre is a flexible space; therefore seating configurations change for each show.

> Learn more


Children under the age of 6 are not permitted in the theatre during performances unless otherwise posted.

Thirsty Thursdays

Thirsty Thursdays

Thirsty Thursday

Thursday, February 4 starting at 7:00 pm

Enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from a different local brewery each Thursday evening during the run of Guards at the Taj! On this date, enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from Latitude 33 Brewing

Thirsty Thursdays

Thirsty Thursday

Thursday, February 11 starting at 7:00 pm

Enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from a different local brewery each Thursday evening during the run of Guards at the Taj! On this date, enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from Aztec Brewing Company

Thirsty Thursdays

Thirsty Thursday

Thursday, February 18 starting at 7:00 pm

Enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from a different local brewery each Thursday evening during the run of Guards at the Taj! On this date, enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from Modern Times

Thirsty Thursdays

Thirsty Thursday

Thursday, February 25 starting at 7:00 pm

Enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from a different local brewery each Thursday evening during the run of Guards at the Taj! On this date, enjoy pre-show craft beer tastings from Duck Foot Beer

Foodie Fridays

Foodie Friday

Friday, February 19 starting at 6:00 pm

Theatergoers with a love for beer and delicious eats are invited to attend Foodie Fridays, where a ticket to select Playhouse performances also includes access to some of San Diego’s finest food trucks, plus a complimentary microbrew tasting!

ACCESS Performances

Open Captioning Performance

Open Captioned Performance

Sunday, February 14 at 2:00 pm

This performance has added open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

ACCESS performance

ACCESS

Saturday, February 20 at 2:00 pm

During this performance, La Jolla Playhouse provides American Sign Language interpretation for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing and audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision. When purchasing tickets, use promo code LJPSCENE to get the best seats for interpreter or captioning visibility.

Audience Engagement Events

Talkback Tuesday

Talkback Tuesday

Tuesday, February 9 after the 7:30 pm performance

Participate in a facilitated discussion with actors and artistic staff immediately following the performance. A great way to share your thoughts and learn more about the show!

Talkback Tuesday

Talkback Tuesday

Tuesday, February 16 after the 7:30 pm performance

Participate in a facilitated discussion with actors and artistic staff immediately following the performance. A great way to share your thoughts and learn more about the show!

Insider Events

Insider Event

Wednesday, February 24 at 6:45 pm

Insider events offer a special pre-performance presentation by members of the Playhouse staff that highlights the history and making of the production you are about to see.

Insider Events

Insider Event

Saturday, February 27 at 1:15 pm

Insider events offer a special pre-performance presentation by members of the Playhouse staff that highlights the history and making of the production you are about to see.

Discovery Sunday

Discovery Sunday

Sunday, February 28 after the 2:00 pm performance

Special guest speakers engage audience members in a moderated discussion exploring the issues and themes in the play.

Guards at the Taj Comes to La Jolla Playhouse

Watch this KPBS Feature


Children under the age of 6 are not permitted in the theatre during performances unless otherwise posted.