Baby Taj

by  Tanya Shaffer

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  5m, 6f

"A beautiful play...[Shaffer] has brilliantly integrated theatricality through the story of...the building of this famous fairy tale palace." - Talkin Broadway
"...Depicts the characters in all their contradictions and with such clarity that the humorous result is full of delicate reflections on caring and family." - Silicon Valley Metro

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 6f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Romantic Comedy
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

"I've dreamed you for so long, I can hardly believe you're with me now. Yet here you are: a tiny human voyager, sleeping off the shock of migration..."

The legendary Taj Mahal is the next assignment for Rachel, an American travel writer whose failed romances have led her to ask: Why not have the baby she craves - on her own? She finds unexpected answers – and larger questions - among the glittering legacies of India's past. Alive with the sounds and colors of a remarkable country, this bittersweet comedy of mischievous matchmaking raises provocative questions about love, friendship, family, and what it means to be ready to be a parent.

Baby Taj had developmental readings at Jeffrey Bihr Studio in Berkeley, California; The Lark Theatre in New York City; and TheatreWorks in Mountain View, California.

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Accolades

  • Top Ten Shows of the Year! San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News
    Nominee! American Theatre Critics' Association Steinberg Award
    Nominee! Bay Area Theatre Critics' Award

Reviews

REVIEWS:

"A captivating inquiry into love and freedom... Thrives on a witty, probing clash between freethinking modernity and tradition." - Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

"A bundle of cross-cultural joy... Marries the breezy cynicism of the now with the eternal power of India... [Shaffer's] ear for mod-groovy lingo gives the play a to-die-for sparkle." - San Jose Mercury News

"...Filled with a savvy traveler's enthusiasm for the cultural and historical rewards of her journey." - Oakland Tribune

"...Depicts the characters in all their contradictions and with such clarity that the humorous result is full of delicate reflections on caring and family." - Silicon Valley Metro

"It's refreshing to come across a playwright who is able to write so honestly about life...Witty, poignant and frequently funny... It's hard not to get swept away." - Mountain View Voice

"Provocative and true, laced with snappy dialogue..." - Palo Alto Weekly

"A beautiful play...[Shaffer] has brilliantly integrated theatricality through the story of...the building of this famous fairy tale palace." - Talkin Broadway

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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

5m, 6f
RACHEL - 37; Jewish-American woman; free-spirited travel addict; single.
ANJALI - 30s; best friends with Anjali; single; an Indian lesbian who has lived in the U.S. for at least nine years.
CHANDRA - Arustu’s wife. Intelligent.
SUNITA – teens; servant of the Sharmas.
ARUSTU – 30s; Mrs. Sharma’s son; an astrologer; a prankster.
OSHO – 6; Chandra and Arustu’s son.
MRS. SHARMA – 70’s; Anjali’s grandmother; a stern matriarch from Agra, India.
ABHI – 30s; Arustu’s cousin; teacher of Hindi; student of history; poet; intellectual.
NATHAN – 20s-30s; a friend of Rachel’s.
MIKE – 20s-30s; a friend of Rachel’s; medical intern.
TERI – 20s-30s; Mike’s wife; medical intern also.
SAM – 30s; an ex-boyfriend of Rachel’s.
MOTHER – 50s-60s; Abhi’s Mother.
COURTIER, LADY, PRINCE, ARJUMAND, GIRL, MAN, various historical characters who appear only in movement sequences.
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Can be cast with 4 males and 3 females with doubling.

Resources

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Authors

Tanya Shaffer

Tanya Shaffer

It premiered at TheatreWorks in October, 2005, in a production directed by Matt August, to great critical acclaim.

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