by Rajiv Joseph directed by Giovanna Sardelli

Originally produced at Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles, CA

April 18 to May 28, 2017

About the Premiere Production:

Synopsis: Archduke is the astonishing new play from Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Rajiv Joseph, one of the most exciting playwrights of our time. Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Guards at the Taj) returns to the Taper with this World premiere, Center Theatre Group commission that poetically traces a group of young men along their unlikely path to terrorism at the onset of World War I. Belgrade, 1914. Three strangers, poor, alone, and adrift, each receive a death sentence in the form of a tuberculosis diagnosis. But being young men with nothing to lose makes them the perfect recruits for The Black Hand—a secret organization looking to strike a blow in the name of Serbian nationalism. Set against the backdrop of the 20th century beginning to discover its identity, and with Joseph’s signature dark humor, Archduke draws parallels to our own troubling times and asks: how (and when) does a century define itself?


Artistic Statement: Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director: Archduke is a World premiere by Rajiv Joseph about an individual’s path to terrorism at the onset of World War I that connects deeply to urgent issues facing us today. We all wonder what drives men and women to commit acts of extraordinary violence, and how those acts of violence change the world. This play explores that question beautifully and humanely.


Grant Statement: Stephen D. Rountree, Managing Director: We’re grateful to the Edgerton Foundation for a grant that allows us to extend the rehearsal process for Archduke by an additional week. This extra time will provide the full creative team the opportunity to extend their collaboration and to give Rajiv Joseph time to further revise and finalize the script with the actors and director in the room. It will also greatly benefit our production team in realizing the epic and sweeping scale of this play.


Set/Scenic Designer: Timothy Mackabee 

Lighting Designer: Lap Chi Chu

Costume Designer: Denitsa Bliznakova

Sound Designer:Daniel Kluger