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Archduke Poster


Closed June 4, 2017

Rajiv Joseph's smart, savagely funny and visionary new work of American theater, whose presence on Broadway invites fanciful comparison to the titular beast.

The New York Times, Bengal Tiger at the Baghd

Why See Archduke?

The new world premiere by Rajiv Joseph

Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Rajiv Joseph makes a welcome return to the Mark Taper forum with a world premiere drama, that takes us back to the cause of the First World War. Looking behind the headlines of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination, and the events leading up to it, the troubling rise of nationalism and terrorism draws similar and worrying parrallels with today's global populism. Shot through with Joseph 's characteristic black humor, we are invited to ask ourselves; what gives a country its identity?

Known for his ability to represent larger themes within human characters, as demonstrated in his 2011 hit Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, the desperate and alienated populace of Serbia in 1914 are represented by three young men, who are all dying of TB. Viewed as expendable and with nothing to lose, this makes them perfect fodder for a shadowy organisation called The Black Hand, to carry out their shocking and nefarious plot that later plunges all of Europe into war.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 18 April 2017


Suitable for ages 10+

Run time


Cast and Creative


Josiah Bania
Stephanie McVay
Ramiz Monsef
Patrick Page
Stephen Stocking
Todd Weeks


By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
Scenic Design by Tim Mackabee
Costume Design by Denitsa Bliznakova
Lighting Design by Lap Chi Chu
Music and Sound by Daniel Kluger

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