GUARDS OF TAJ
TONY BENNETT CONCERT HALL
THE COST OF BEAUTY
Guards of Taj by Rajiv Joseph is a bloody tale that tells us the price of beauty. Agra, India in 1648. Humayun and Babur are two Imperial guards on night watch standing sentinel outside of the nearly completed Taj Mahal before it is unveiled to the world. During their watch they cannot look at the beautiful Taj as it has not been revealed yet. They are both have known each other and tell tales to pass the time until they learn of their new bloody task which divides these two brothers.
I loved the idea that the men can't see the set but we could. I wanted to play with perspective because of our view and just the grand size of the Taj itself. I wanted to include projections to help bring the men story telling to life. I remember growing up in a South Asian household hearing all of these tales and watching these paper puppets which is apart of India and Hindustani culture.
I also wanted to show the bloody reality of the cost of what it took to build this beauty. I love doing shows where I am able to show the culture I grew up with.