NEW YORK CITY: Rajiv Joseph has won the 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for his play Guards at the Taj. The prize comes with $50,000 for Joseph and a grant of $100,000 to go toward the production costs of the play.
Guards at the Taj is set in 1648 India, where two Imperial Guards are watching the sun rise for the first time on the recently completed Taj Mahal. It will receive its world premiere at Atlantic Theater Company in May, under the direction of Amy Morton.
“Reminiscent of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Waiting for Godot, this play deserves a great deal of attention,” said David Saint, president of the Laurents / Hatcher Foundation, in a statement.
In addition to Guards at the Taj, the foundation also awarded a special citation to playwright Lindsey Ferrentino for her play Ugly Lies the Bone. Ferrentino will receive a $25,000 cash prize. Roundabout Theatre Company, which is producing the play, will be provided with a $50,000 grant to fund the production. Ugly Lies the Bone is a postwar tale about a severely burned female soldier, who returns home only to find decay and loss. It will play beginning Sept. 10; Patricia McGregor will direct.
The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award is an annual prize given to an unproduced, full-length, socially relevant play by an emerging American playwright. It was established in 2010. The award is named after playwright and director Arthur Laurents and his partner of 52 years, Tom Hatcher.