Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph | Bay Area Premiere
  • 2023-10-08

Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph | Bay Area Premiere

March 23, 2017


Production Dates: April 27, 2017 - May 21, 2017
Opening Night: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 7:30pm

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company unveils the fifth production of its 50th Anniversary Season with an insightful exposition of philosophical wit and a dose of unearthly woven dialogue for the Bay Area Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards At The Taj. When two low-stationed guards get swept up in their own curiosity and doubt, their seemingly straightforward tasks become far more complex, and their friendship and wills are tested. Combining well placed comedic dialogue and physicality with the heartbreaking human obsession with beauty, Joseph’s production explores depths of irony with a dark whimsy that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

“Boldly adventurous Rajiv Joseph begins on a Beckettian note, and draws us into this relatively small but uniquely engineered piece” - LA Times

More about Award Winning Playwright Rajiv Joseph

Ohio native Rajiv Joseph's Broadway play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama and received a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. Joseph's New York productions include Gruesome Playground Injuries and Animals Out of Paper at Second Stage Theatre; The Leopard and the Fox (adaptation), Alter Ego, Huck & Holden at Cherry Lane Theatre; All This Intimacy, at Second Stage Theatre; The North Pool at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto; The Lake Effect at Crossroads Theatre in New Jersey; and The Medusa Body at the Alley Theatre. While Guards At the Taj had its first performance in 2015 and has since played coast to coast, Marin Theatre Company’s production is a Bay Area premiere. Joseph received his BA in Creative Writing from Miami University and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal.

Marin Theatre Company’s Own Jasson Minadakis to Direct

Marin Theatre Company’s artistic director Jasson Minadakis, now in his eleventh season, will direct this Beckettian play for Bay Area audiences. His directing credits include August: Osage County,  Invisible HandAnne Boleyn, The Convert, The Whale, Failure: A Love Story, the world premiere of Lasso of Truth,The Whipping Man (San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Awards for best production and best acting ensemble), Waiting for Godot, Othello, the Moor of Venice, The Glass Menagerie, Edward Albee's Tiny Alice, the world premiere of Seagull, Happy NowEquivocation (SFBATCC Award for best director), the world premiere of SunlightLydiaThe Seafarer, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Streetcar Named Desire, said Saïd, Love Song and The Subject Tonight is Love.

Partnership with UrbanSitter Continues to Make Theatre Accessible for Parents

MTC is pleased to continue to partner with UrbanSitter, a website and app that helps busy parents find trusted babysitters and nannies, to enable the numerous young families in the Bay Area to attend live theater more easily. UrbanSitter will provide babysitters for MTC’s Sitter Saturday event for Guards at the Taj on Saturday, May 6 at 2:00 pm. Read David Templeton’s feature about this partnership in the North Bay Stage and Screen here.

Theatre/Performing Arts

Theatre/Performing Arts

Guards at the Taj

By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Jasson Minadakis

April 27 - May 21, 2017

OPENING NIGHT: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 7:30pm

Tue - Sun 7:30pm

Sun (Preview) April 30, 4:00pm
Thu (Perspectives) May 11, 2:00pm
Sat May 6 & 20, 2:00pm
Sun May 7, 14 & 21, 2:00pm

Marin Theatre Company | 397 Miller Ave | Mill Valley, CA 94941

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 dark comedy about two average men swept up by the beauty, carnage and injustice surrounding one of the most famous wonders of the world.

$22 - $60

Discounts for seniors, teens, military families, Bay Area teachers and groups of 7 or more are available. Contact the Box Office for more details. | (415) 388-5208 |


  • Pre-Show Discussions: Join members of MTC’s artistic staff and cast of the show to discuss the play, playwright and play’s themes on Wednesdays before the 7:30pm performances.

  • After Words: Join a member of MTC’s artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) for a Q&A talkback after every performance, except Saturday evenings and Opening and Closing Nights.

  • Play Date SeriesJoin MTC as we go behind the scenes into the power and magic of live theatre performance, share an in-depth introduction to Guards at the Taj, read aloud scenes from the play, answer questions about the season, and more. The next Play Date Series for Guards at the Taj will be on Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30pm at the Marin City Public Library.

  • Window on the Work: Join members of MTC’s artistic staff and cast of the show to discuss artistic and production elements of MTC’s production of the play, Thursday, April 13 at 7:30pm at the Mill Valley Public Library.

  • Sitter Saturday: MTC is pleased to continue to partner with UrbanSitter, a website and app that helps busy parents find trusted babysitters and nannies, to enable the numerous young families in the Bay Area to attend live theater more easily. UrbanSitter will provide babysitters for the matinee performance of Guards at the Taj on Saturday, May 6, at 2:00pm.

  • Perspectives: The third Thursday of each show is the Perspectives matinee performance which includes a pre-show topical lecture. For Guards at the Taj, the Perspectives matinee is scheduled for Thursday, May 11, with the pre-show lecture beginning at 12:30pm, and the performance beginning at 1:00pm.

  • MTC After Hours: Following the Saturday, May 13, 7:30pm performance, join members of the audience and cast in the lobby to continue the conversation. Featuring music and drink specials.

Marin Theatre Company is proud to partner with the Theatre Development Fund's Open Captioning Initiative to provide open captioned performances of each of the plays in our mainstage series on the Thursday matinee. The open captioned performance for Guards at the Taj will be Thursday, May 11 at 1:00pm.

For visually impaired patrons, Large Print playbills are available with one week’s advance notice. To request a Large Print playbill, call MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208, or use the California Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing “711.” For hearing impaired patrons, amplified sound Assistive Listening Devices are available.

CONTACT | (415) 388-5208 |

Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season focused on new American plays and a Family Series of Theatre for Young Audiences. We are committed to the development and production of new plays, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards and readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging and established playwrights. Our numerous education programs serve more than 12,000+ students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year.  MTC strives to create intimate, powerful and emotional experiences that engage audiences to discuss new ideas and adopt a broader point of view. We believe in taking risks and inspiring people to participate in live theater, regardless of personal means.  MTC celebrates the intellectual curiosity of our community, and we believe that theater is an important tool to help build empathy. MTC was founded in 1966 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Sara Waugh, Director of Marketing & Communications
(415) 322-6022 |


Guards at the Taj Playwright Rajiv Joseph on Comic Book Inspiration and Writing During the Dim Hours

NY Times Review: ‘Guards at the Taj,’ Two Ordinary Guys Ordered to Do the Unthinkable

LA Times Review: Geffen Playhouse's 'Guards at the Taj' has elements of 'Godot' and gallows humor