BETC presents Guards at the Taj

January 26 – February 18, 2018

BETC goes back in time for Guards at the Taj, Rajiv Joseph’s intimate portrayal of brotherhood and brutality kicks off 2018.  Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC) continues to bring the best of American theatre to Boulder with the regional premiere of Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Stephen Weitz, Producing Artistic Director. Joseph is one of America’s premiere dramatists and a 2010 Pulitzer finalist for his play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Guards at the Taj won the 2016 Obie Award for Best New American Play.

This black comedy, set in Agra, India in 1648, introduces audiences to two lifelong friends, standing watch on the night before the first unveiling of the Taj Mahal. As the action of the play unfolds, these two must take part in an act of unfathomable cruelty, one that will shatter their lives and their relationship.

“I immediately fell in love with this play when I read it. It has this amazing mix of styles and ingredients. It is simultaneously classic and contemporary, hysterically funny and darkly dramatic,” Weitz said. “At its core, the play is a story about love and friendship between these two men. But it’s wrapped inside this intense series of events that explores how relationships change and warp over time.

“Given the two characters’ positions as Imperial Guards to the Emperor, it also speaks forcefully to how the lives of average people are subject to the whims and caprices of the powerful,” Weitz said. “These multiple facets make the play intensely personal and sweepingly political at the same time.”

Guards is BETC’s fifth production of the season and third premiere of a play new to the region. The production demonstrates the company’s ongoing mission to deliver transcendent new plays to local audiences and diversity both onstage and off. Additionally, the play represents BETC’s commitment to the development and advancement of local talent.

“Everyone associated with this production is based right here in the Boulder/Denver area. In fact, in the almost 12 years of BETC’s existence, we’ve only ever hired one artist from outside the area. This is a commitment we take very seriously and something I believe distinguishes BETC from other local companies,” Weitz said.

On January 27, BETC hosts its Opening Night for Guards at the Taj in the Grace Gamm Theater at The Dairy Arts Center. Tickets to opening night include a reception featuring signature beverages and locally catered food from River and Woods. Single tickets for the run range from $20 to $45.

In keeping with some of the play’s gorier moments, BETC will also partner with Bonfils on a blood drive at the Dairy on February 11. For more information on the show and to purchase tickets visit:

Guards at the Tajj

January 25 – February 18, 2018

Dairy Arts Center, Boulder

Tickets: or 303-444-7328


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