About Playwright Rajiv Joseph

Rajiv Joseph 1 Credit Mark Kitaoka Rajiv Joseph is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and an award winning playwright. Rajiv has been called “daring, magnificent, and virtuosic” by the L.A. Times.

Rajiv Joseph wrote Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Huck and Holden, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The Monster at the Door, and The North Pool. He is the book-writer and co-lyricist for the upcoming musical, Fly, adapted from JM Barrie’s novel, Peter Pan. Rajiv Joseph received his BA in Creative Writing from Miami University and his MFA in Playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa.

Rajiv has been awarded a United States Artists Grant, the Whiting Award, the Glickman Award, and the National Endowment for the Arts Outstanding New American Play grant. He is currently a writer on the Showtime television series Nurse Jackie.

Praise for Rajiv: 
"Rajiv Joseph is an artist of original talent." —New York Times 

“Joseph has an imaginative voice and uses it to express innovative ideas and the redemptive power of art and beauty.” —Backstage


I’m of mixed race; my father is from Kerala, India, my mom is from Cleveland, where I was raised. Growing up, I feel like I’ve been equally a part of both worlds. Being mixed-race has always been a part of my identity and although, on the one hand, there might be a sense of always feeling a little bit like an outsider, I feel blessed to have grown up belonging to two different races and cultures. I feel somehow a part of both worlds.

The Lake Effect is, in many respects, a play about separate worlds colliding. On one level, these worlds are divided by race and culture, but beyond that, it’s a play about secrets and families and what binds us together as just regular people.

I’m so excited to have my new play premiere at Silk Road Rising. I hope you will support me, and South Asians artists, by coming to see The Lake Effect.


How much money, as a gross sum, do you think you took from Dad? Since you moved out? 20 thousand? 30? More than that?

You don't know anything about me, or me and Dad, or my life or anything. You don't know a single thing.
You can't just come home after 15 years and start judging me.

I'm not judging, I'm asking a question.

You probably didn't even know that I was married.

Yes I did.
And that you go divorced.
And that you're back together with your ex-husband, and that Dad wasn't happy about it.

Dad told you that?

No. Bernard did.

So now you're getting your information from a guy who has amnesia and who owes us 18 thousand dollars.

Don't change the subject.
He has amnesia?