BUFFALO, NY – Wednesday December 7, 2016 — Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP) is excited to announce a public development reading of Archduke, a world-premiere play by its 2016 National Playwright Resident Rajiv Joseph. A staged reading of the play will be presented on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 7:30PM at Buffalo State College’s Flexible Theater.
The public reading follows Joseph’s November visit to Buffalo, where he worked closely with artists from RLTP and Buffalo State’s Theater Department to develop and revise Archduke, which will enjoy its world-premiere production at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum in April 2017 (https://www.centertheatregroup.org/tickets/mark-taper-forum/2017-18/archduke/). In January, Joseph will return to Buffalo for a week of intense development and rehearsal in advance of the public reading, which will be directed by RLTP Artistic Director Scott Behrend and feature RLTP Ensemble actors David Hayes, Matt Witten, and Doug Zschiegner, as well as Anthony Alcocer, Mary McMahon, and Buffalo State alumni Jessie Tiebor
“It’s a great honor to support Rajiv’s process on this very exciting project,” said Behrend. Joseph spent his November development session working with actors and discussing his work with RLTP’s Literary Department, including Literary Director Jon Elston, Dramaturg Katie Mallinson, and Kyle LoConti, as well as with Buffalo State design students under the guidance of department Chair Ann Emo. Behrend praised Rajiv for being “highly receptive to all of our feedback and support and incredibly committed to perfecting his work.”
Archduke is a fictionalized and darkly comedic account of the sinister conspiracy leading to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an act which sparked World War I. The play was awarded a year of development support through RLTP’s inaugural National Residency program, for RLTP received applications from 106 playwrights from all over the United States. Author Rajiv Joseph is best known for his play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize-finalist for Drama and was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. It was produced on Broadway in 2011 and starred Robin Williams.
Rajiv Joseph’s New York productions include Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company, 2015), The North Pool (Vineyard Theatre, 2013), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Second Stage Theatre, 2011), Animals Out of Paper (Second Stage, 2008), The Leopard and the Fox (AlterEgo Theatre Company, 2007), Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane Theatre, 2006), and All This Intimacy (Second Stage, 2006). His other recent plays include Mr. Wolf (South Coast Repertory, 2015), The Lake Effect (Crossroads Theatre Company, 2013), and The Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre, 2011). His plays have been translated and produced world-wide.
Besides his work for the theatre, Mr. Joseph has written for television, including seasons 3 and 4 of the Showtime award-winning series Nurse Jackie. He also has written for film, and is the co-writer of the 2014 Lionsgate feature Draft Day and the upcoming release, Army of One, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Larry Charles. He is the librettist for the upcoming opera, Shalimar the Clown, adapted from the novel of the same name by Salman Rushdie, which will have its premiere at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2016. He is also the book writer and co-lyricist of the musical Fly, an adaptation of JM Barrie’s novel Peter Pan, which was produced at the Dallas Theatre Center in 2013. Rajiv has been awarded artistic grants from the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn.
Since 2003, RLTP has produced twenty-six full-length world premiere productions by Western New York playwrights as well as a dozen world-premiere productions of new short plays. RLTP’s Emanuel Fried New Play Workshop has supported nearly five dozen playwrights from WNY and Southern Ontario as they developed over one hundred full-length plays; many of those plays have proceeded to full productions as RLTP and other theatre companies, both within and outside of WNY. RLTP now seeks to increase its impact on the American new play field by supporting playwrights outside of WNY. It hope to solicit applications for a second National Residency in 2017 or beyond. RLTP will also continue its commitment to WNY playwrights with its ongoing Regional Residency program. Playwrights in and around Buffalo are invited to apply for a year of ongoing development support of their current work-in-progress. There will be no charge to the playwright.
Archduke, a world-premiere play by RLTP’s 2016 National Playwright Resident Rajiv Joseph, will be presented as a staged reading on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 7:30PM at Buffalo State College’s Flexible Theater. Admission is $15 general / $10 students. Advance tickets available by phone at (716) 629-3069 or online at http://roadlesstraveledproductions.org/programs/playwright-residencies/. Tickets also available at the door 30 minutes prior to the reading.
For detailed information about applying to RLTP National Residency or Regional Residency programs, please visit http://roadlesstraveledproductions.org/programs/playwright-residencies/. Stay tuned for 2017 submission information and guidelines!