Rajiv Joseph (Senegal 1996-98) the playwright of Animals Out of Paper, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Gruesome Playground Injuries, has won the 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award in the playwriting category. He joins Mike Meyer (China 1995–97) another recipient of the award. A total of ten awards were given this year and RPCVs won two of them. The awards, which are $50,000 each, totaling $500,000, have been given annually since 1985 to writers “of exceptional talent and promise in early career.”
Rajiv is the author of Animals Out of Paper, produced by the Second Stage Theatre and published by Dramatists Play Service; Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, produced at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles and named Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts; and Gruesome Playground Injuries, currently playing at the Alley Theatre in Houston. He has received a Paula Vogel Award from the Vineyard Theatre and has been a Kesselring, a Lark Playwriting, and a Dramatists Guild fellow. Joseph received his BA from Miami University and his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a founding member of the Fire Department Theater Company and lecturer in NYU’s Expository Writing Program. He lives in Brooklyn.