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Road Less Traveled Productions Welcomes National Playwright Resident Rajiv Joseph


Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP) is excited to announce its inaugural 2016 National Playwright Resident, playwright Rajiv Joseph.

Rajiv Joseph is the author of the Broadway 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. Joseph's New York productions include Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company, 2015 - Obie Award Best New Play - 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 worldwide.

Mr. Joseph's play, Santa Maria, was awarded a year of development support through RLTP's inaugural National Residency program. RLTP received applications from 106 playwrights from all over the United States. Five of those playwrights (besides Mr. Joseph) were named Finalists for the 2016 National Residency: those playwrights include William Missouri Downs for his play Life On My Knees; Gina Femia for Annie And The Fat Man; Jean Hartley Sidden for Difficult People; Stephen Kaplan for The Community; and Eric Pfeffinger for Joan Henry. RLTP Literary Director Jon Elston praised all of these plays as being "accomplished, resonant, and profoundly provocative".

An additional ten applicants were recognized as semi-finalists for their "truly exciting" submissions: Jenn Dlugos & Charlie Hatton for their play Mall In The Family; Lauren Ferebee, Sexual Geography; Jon Blake Hackler, The Necessities; Brendan Healy, City Of Presidents; Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Trigger; Andrea Lepcio, Strait Of Gibraltar; Cheri Magid, The Virtue Of Raw Oysters; Ross Peter Nelson, Tycho's Fool; Emilio Rodriguez, Angel Of The People Mover; and Jenny Stafford, Beating A Dead Horse.

"RLTP was very lucky to receive so many fine applications for our inaugural National Residency program," said Artistic Director Scott Behrend. He added that the company felt privileged to be able to contribute to the evolution of a promising new play such as Mr. Joseph's Santa Maria.

Mr. Joseph will make occasional trips to Buffalo, NY where he will work with RLTP's directors, actors, designers, and literary staff to develop his new play. The residency will conclude with a week-long intensive workshop in Buffalo, culminating in two staged readings of the play, presented to the public.

RLTP is also very excited to announce a new partnership with the Theater Department at Buffalo State College (SUNY). Buffalo State College will host the week-long intensive workshop in May 2017 and selected students will work with RLTP and Mr. Joseph in a variety of capacities during the development process throughout the 2016-17 academic year.

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 hopes 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.

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.

For detailed information about applying to RLTP National Residency or Regional Residency programs, visit Stay tuned for 2017 submission information and guidelines.

Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP) is a professional, non-profit theatre company dedicated to the development and production of new theatrical works by Western New York playwrights, as well as presentations of esteemed modern dramas of outstanding literary merit. RLTP, a member of the National New Play Network, is currently at 500 Pearl Street in the Theatre District of Downtown Buffalo, NY. For more information about RLTP and to purchase tickets, visit or call (716) 629-3069. RLTP's work is made possible through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

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