SEPTEMBER 2019 | Volume 183


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Guards at the Taj
by Rajiv Joseph
South Asian Canadian Histories Association
Public Market Pick of the Fringe
Performance Works, Granville Island
Sept. 22

The dark and hilarious play explores an odd bromance between two Imperial Guards stationed outside the Taj Mahal in 1648

Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj is a Public Market Pick of the Fringe, running Sept. 22, 7:45 pm, at Performance Works on Granville Island. 

Historically situated in the midst of a flourishing empire and geographically in front of an internationally recognizable architectural marvel, Guards at the Taj explores an exceptionally cruel act in (perhaps fabricated) history through what can only be described as an odd "bromance." Dark, haunting, and hilarious, Adele Noronha and Andy Kalirai star in playwright Rajiv Joseph's sharply written story of two men who stand on duty as Imperial Guards at the famed Taj Mahal in India in 1648.

Directed by Paneet Singh (A Vancouver Guldasta, The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson), the play features local actors Adele Noronha and Andy Kalirai as the Imperial Guards. 

An "audacious comedy" (Chicago Tribune) filled with "sly, funny, dialogue laced with jolts of lyricism" (Hollywood Reporter), this production directed by Paneet Singh juxtaposes authentic and nuanced historical and cultural specificity against modern and anachronistic dialogue. 

The Guards at the Taj is presented by South Asian Canadian Histories Association. 

Guards at the Taj
Directed By: Paneet Singh
Starring: Adele Noronha, Andy Kalirai
Set Designer: Lacey Anne Oleson
Stage Manager: Evan Ren
Hair and Make-Up: Kaeko Fujiyama
Lighting Designer: Chengyan Boon

Actor Bios:

Adele Noronha is a Jessie award-winning actor, an educator, and an emerging creator practicing on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She immigrated from India 18 years ago. Adele has worked in various capacities on and off the stage with companies such as Bard on the Beach (three seasons), Gateway, Carousel, South Asian Arts, Arts Club, Touchstone, Delinquent, Upintheair, frank, Electric Theatre Company, and Pi. 

Andy Kalirai is a Vancouver-based actor known for his roles in Soul Samurai (Affair of Honor), The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson (Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts), and All's Well That Ends Well (Bard on the Beach). Andy studies theatre at Railtown Actors' Studio. 
Director Bio:

Paneet Singh is a playwright and filmmaker whose work is largely inspired and informed by Sikh and South Asian culture and history, and who is most well-known for his two stageplays, The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson, which has sold out every performance since its 2016 premiere, and the critically acclaimed A Vancouver Guldasta, which was an honourable mention in "The Best of Vancouver Theatre in 2018" by Vancouver Presents. Paneet was also picked as one of 2018's "most exciting fresh faces to watch" by Colin Thomas.

Outside of theatre and film, Paneet's work is mostly based in history and education. He is a founding member of the South Asian Canadian Histories Association and a co-host of The Nameless Collective Podcast, which follows histories of South Asians in British Columbia.

Playwright Bio:

Rajiv Joseph is an American playwright. He was named a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, and he won an Obie Award for Best New American Play for his play Describe the Night.



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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews